You see double when you have had a little too much to drink. It is funny how you cannot walk straight or think straight as you see things multiplying. This situation is temporary and does not impact your vision or your health. But in some cases, this situation is not at all funny. You might have this eye condition for the long term or permanently.
You see everything as double. It hinders your daily life as you cannot see clearly. You will need assistance for doing even the essential functions.
Do You have Double Vision?
You can have double vision in one eye or both your eyes. It is more severe if you have an issue in both eyes. To check double vision, you can start by asking yourself these simple questions.
- When did you start seeing double?
- Was it after an injury or passing out?
- Is your double vision occasional or continuous?
- Do you tilt your head to see clearly? You might do it subconsciously. Ask your family members or check your old photos if you tilt your head
- Close one eye and try to see. Do you see double vision with only one eye or both eyes?
If you have double vision, then you should consult your doctor, especially if the symptoms persist.
What is Diplopia? What causes it?
Double vision, also known as diplopia, is an eye condition when you see everything in a double. When you hit your head, or you are inebriated, you see double vision. Many causes can lead up to this eye condition.
1. Corneal Damage- The cornea is responsible for focusing on light. When the cornea is damaged because of injury or any disease, your eyes cannot focus properly and have distorted vision or double vision. You might have keratoconus, in which the shape of the cornea is deformed into a cone shape. There can be damage to the cornea because of infections like herpes, shingles, or any scars.
2. Damage to the Lens - Because of a cataract or any other disease that affects the lenses of your eyes, you might have an issue of diplopia.
3. Weakened Muscles Around Eyes - When you drink a lot too often, the muscles around your eyes start becoming weaker. With weaker muscles, your eyes have a hard time focusing. You see double vision because of weak muscles when you are inebriated. Your muscles can become as you grow old as well. Weakening muscles are also because of autoimmune diseases like Myasthenia Gravis or Graves’ disease.
4. Damage to Optic Nerves - When the nerves get damaged, the image formed gets distorted, and a double vision is visualised by the brain. Multiple sclerosis, Guillain barre syndrome, diabetes can cause damage to the optic nerves.
5. Issues with the Brain - You might get vision issues when there is a problem in your brain. Strokes, aneurysms, tumours or migraines can lead to diplopia.
6. Even Dryness of the Eyes can cause Double Vision - Staring at computer screens for hours can make your eyes dry. You might start having double vision if you stay on digital devices for very long hours. While blue light blocking glasses can help with digital strain, you can use eye drops to soothe your dry eyes.
What’s the Cure?
Diplopia is not a severe issue and often goes away after some time. But it can cause inconveniences in your daily life. Also, diplopia is an eye condition that can be a symptom of some underlying disease. It can be a fatal disease like a brain tumour or autoimmune disease. If you have recurring double vision problems, then you should definitely consult your eye doctor.
After knowing what is causing your double vision, you can get rid of diplopia. For cataracts, you can go for cataract surgery. You can cure diplopia with surgery and treatments for the underlying diseases.
You might need to wear an eye patch or prism glasses to correct your vision if you have permanent diplopia.
Exercises to Improve Your Eye Condition
Few simple exercises can improve your eye condition. These eye exercises are similar to shifting focus exercises to improve your eyesight. If you are familiar with these exercises, you can easily do these exercises for improving your double vision eye condition.
1. Shifting Focus from Thumb
- Raise your thumb and focus on the tip
- Try to see it as a single image
- Slowly straighten your arm while focusing on the thumb tip
- If you start seeing double vision, get back to the previous position and start again
- Close your eyes for some time and repeat the steps few more times
2. Refocusing Exercise
- Raise your thumb and focus on the tip while seeing it as a single image for at least 10 seconds
- Shift your focus to any object kept 10 or more feet away for 10 seconds
- Take a break by closing your eyes and repeat the steps again
3. Dot Card Exercise
Get a dot card from your optician for this exercise. A dot card is a card with dots lined in regular intervals.
- Hold the card near your face with an end touching the tip of your nose
- Focus on the farthest dot and try to see it as a single image
- Shift your focus on the second dot while maintaining a single image
- Continue moving to the next dots while keeping a single image
- If your focus is broken, move back to the previous dot and continue again
- Take breaks by closing your eyes
- Repeat the steps few more times
4. Stereogram Exercise
A stereogram is a set of two incomplete images, which combined becomes a complete picture. You can get this card from your optician or get this image printed.
- Straighten your arm and hold the stereogram card
- Hold a pen with your other hand and bring it in between your vision field
- Focus on the tip of the pen with the stereogram in the background
- Move the pen closer to your face while keeping it as a single image
- When the pen is halfway close to your eyes from the stereogram, you should be able to see the stereogram as two split images
- Close your eyes to take a rest and repeat the steps again
These exercises will help in focusing on seeing things clearly and as a single image. These exercises work for double vision but they only help in alleviating the symptoms. Diplopia can be because of many reasons. Get a comprehensive free eye test to know the reason behind your double vision and get it treated accordingly.