Double Vision2021-12-02T12:04:07+00:00

Double vision (diplopia) will make you see two separate images of a single object

This new symptom may indicate a serious underlying disease or conditions that we can treat

BOOK AN APPOINTMENT

Double vision (diplopia) will make you see two separate images of a single object

This new symptom may indicate a serious underlying disease or conditions that we can treat

BOOK AN ASSESSMENT
There are several different types of diplopia, and many different causes

Discover more about this symptom and next steps

Double vision – also called diplopia – will make you see two separate images of a single object. There are several different types of diplopia and many different causes. Sometimes, double vision can be a symptom of a serious underlying disease or condition. For that reason, if you encounter double vision at any time, you should make an appointment with an eye expert straight away.

In normal vision, the two separate images from each of your eyes are combined by the brain into one single image. Double vision occurs when the brain cannot combine the images from each of the eyes into a single image. This is usually because the images are not similar enough because of problems with the muscles or nerves that control precisely where each eye is looking.

There are two main types of double vision: binocular and monocular.

Binocular diplopia

Binocular diplopia is the most common type of double vision. It occurs when your eyes don’t align with each other as they normally would. Those with binocular double vision will find that covering either eye gets rid of the double image. A squint usually causes binocular double vision, but it could be a symptom of a much more serious medical condition if it occurs suddenly.

Diseases of the thyroid or arteries, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, stroke, and other serious conditions can cause double vision. It’s therefore essential to make an appointment with an eye specialist as soon as possible if you have double vision.

Monocular diplopia

Monocular diplopia is double vision in one eye only. It is much less common than binocular diplopia. If you have monocular double vision, only covering the affected eye will make the double image disappear. An abnormality usually causes monocular double vision within the eye. This could be a refractive error like astigmatism or a rare type of cataract. It can also be caused by abnormalities of the iris, lens, or fluid within the eye, and even dry eye.

Symptoms often include when you simultaneously see two separate images of the same object. In some cases, this double vision can be little more than a faint ‘ghost’ image, which is easily confused with blurred vision.

In other cases, you may experience symptoms where the images appear side-by-side, one above the other, or diagonally. Double vision makes it difficult to see objects at any distance. It particularly affects your spatial awareness and, therefore, your ability to drive. Children with double vision may frequently cover one eye, or they may tend to squint or turn their heads to see properly.

Your ophthalmologist will assess your eye movements to determine the cause of your double vision. We may also require a visual field test or OCT.

If you suffer from double vision, your treatment will depend on the type and cause of your diplopia. Treatment can be as simple as wearing an eye patch or special glasses or contacts.

Botox® injections or eyelid surgery can correct a squint that causes double vision. Similarly, a cataract operation may be necessary if a cataract is causing the problem. Or dry eye treatment may help if dry eye is the cause.

I have sudden onset double vision should I be worried?

Any sudden onset of double vision should be seen by your optometrist or a medical professional.

Can surgery help my double vision?

Yes, depending on the cause of the double vision.

Will glasses help with my double vision?

Possibly, depending on the cause of the double vision.

Gain relief from a worrying eye condition

We understand that any issue with your eyes can be a weight on your shoulders. Give us a call to book your appointment today, and we’ll help you get to the bottom of your issue and put your mind at ease.

CALL US ON: 0800 99 2020

Gain relief from a worrying eye condition

We understand that any issue with your eyes can be a weight on your shoulders. Give us a call to book your appointment today, and we’ll help you get to the bottom of your issue and put your mind at ease.

CALL US ON: 0800 99 2020
Does poor vision or the limitations of glasses or contact lenses hold you back?

Choose the option below that sounds most like you to discover your best solution

Do your glasses and contacts get in your way or make you feel uncomfortable?

Do you feel a bit meh when wearing glasses or when your eyes feel dry from your contact lenses? Perhaps poor vision and the inconvenience of glasses and contacts stops you from participating in certain activities you enjoy or even simply enjoying the beautiful natural landscapes around you. Laser eye surgery could be the answer.

LEARN MORE

Are you struggling with the hassle of reading glasses?

Whether you’re new to reading glasses or have worn them your whole life, it doesn’t take long to notice how annoying they can sometimes be. Before you know it, there’s a pair of readers everywhere you look; around your neck, in your pockets, and in every room of the house. But when you need them, they’re nowhere to be found. Restore your vision (and avoid future cataract surgery too).

LEARN MORE

Is your vision becoming cloudy, blurry and dull or have you been diagnosed with cataracts?

When your glasses are no longer effective, your quality of life is impacted. At first, you might be able to muddle by. But as your vision deteriorates, your ability to function as you normally would is needlessly compromised. With modern cataract surgery, you have the choice to quickly and easily improve your vision (and even reduce your dependence on glasses).

LEARN MORE

Take this quick quiz to discover if you can escape the hassle of reading glasses

After the age of 45, many people find reading glasses frustrating. Take this quick 2-min quiz to find out which type of eye surgery could help you to turn back the clock on your eyes.

Take quiz now!
Gain visual freedom in 3 easy steps

Eye treatment options can be confusing. We’ve made the journey as straightforward as can be

Get in touch

The first step is to call us so we can answer any questions we can on the phone. Give our friendly team a call on 0800 99 2020 or request a call back from us.

We’ll meet

At your consultation, we’ll diagnose your issues, answer your questions and give you a clear recommendation based on your needs. You’ll confidently leave with a clear understanding of your treatment options.

Enjoy clarity

After treatment, people often tell us how pleased they were that they took action when they did. They’re often so glad that they reached out so that we could address their concerns and help them resolve their troublesome eye condition.

Watch the best patient education videos on eye treatment in New Zealand

Get a quick overview of everything you need to know about gaining visual freedom

What is LASIK surgery?

Are you looking for a new perspective of life? In this post, Dr Nick Mantell explains the different types of lasers treatments and that Lasik is the most frequently performed, elective, laser vision correction surgery.

What are the benefits of PRK?

Nothing beats the comfort of saying yes to vision correction with PRK. The exhilaration of going for a run, breaking a sweat whilst working out, or snuggling into bed with your favourite read, without needing external aid is priceless. What's more, this painless surgery lasts no longer than 15-minutes. Learn more in this blog with Dr Adam Watson from the Eye Institute.

READ MORE POSTS
Additional resources on treating double vision

Find out more about why you might be experiencing double vision and what could be the cause.

Double vision occurs when a person sees a double image where there should only be one. The two images can be side by side, on top of one another, or both.

The condition can affect balance, movement, and reading ability.

If double vision affects just one eye, it is monocular. If it affects both eyes, it is binocular. Treatments depend on the cause and type, but they include eye exercises, specially designed glasses, and surgery.

Click here to read more.

Temporary episodes of double vision can happen for many reasons, including drinking too much alcohol or being overly tired. This type of short-term double vision is usually not cause for worry.

But if the diplopia is long-lasting or keeps coming back, there could be other reasons for it.

Click here to read more.

Note: These links will take you off our website

Get our guide to find out how to free yourself from the hassle of reading glasses

We understand that choosing the best eye surgery to remove the need for reading glasses can be confusing. We’ve made it easy. The information in our New Zealand Guide to Vision Correction quickly gives you everything you need to choose the best vision correction provider for you.

Get guide now
Go to Top