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General Practice 2023

Diplopia: what é, causes and treatment

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Diplopia: what é, causes and treatment
Diplopia: what é, causes and treatment

Diplopia, also called double vision, happens when the eyes are not aligned correctly, transmitting images of the same object, but from different angles, to the brain. People with diplopia are unable to merge the images from both eyes into a single image, creating the sensation that they are seeing two objects instead of just one.

The most common types of diplopia are:

  • Monocular diplopia, in which double vision appears only in one eye, being perceived only when one eye is open;
  • Binocular diplopia, where double vision happens in both eyes and disappears by closing either eye;
  • Horizontal diplopia, when the image appears duplicated to the sides;
  • Vertical diplopia, when the image is replicated up or down.

Double vision is curable and the person can see normally and focused again, however the treatment to achieve a cure varies according to the cause and, therefore, it is important that the ophthalmologist is consulted to that an assessment is made and appropriate treatment can be initiated.

Main causes of diplopia

Double vision can happen due to benign changes that do not pose a risk to the person, such as misalignment of the eyes, but it can also happen due to more serious vision problems, such as cataracts, for example. Other main causes of diplopia are:

  • Blows to the head;
  • Vision problems such as strabismus, myopia or astigmatism;
  • Dry eye;
  • Diabetes;
  • Multiple Sclerosis;
  • Muscle problems such as myasthenia;
  • Brain injuries;
  • Brain tumor;
  • Brain stroke;
  • Excessive use of alcohol;
  • Using drugs.

It is important to consult an ophthalmologist whenever double vision persists or is accompanied by other symptoms, such as headache and difficulty seeing for example, so that the diagnosis can be made and treatment started. Learn how to recognize the symptoms of vision problems.

How the treatment is done

In some cases, diplopia can disappear on its own, without the need for treatment. However, if it persists or other symptoms such as headache, nausea and vomiting appear, it is important to consult an ophthalmologist so that the diagnosis can be made and treatment started.

Treatment for diplopia consists of treating the cause of double vision, including eye exercises, glasses, lenses or surgery to correct vision problems.

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