What Causes Double Vision? | Blaine Eye Clinic
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What Causes Double Vision?

Are you seeing double? Experiencing brief double vision when you are tired or sick is common, but consistent double vision is not normal and can indicate a range of underlying eye conditions or health issues.

At Blaine Eye Clinic, we are committed to not only correcting vision problems but identifying the root cause of symptoms. Keep reading to learn more about double vision, including what causes this condition!

What is Double Vision?

Double vision, also known as diplopia, is the perception of two images of a single object. Normally, your two eyes work together to provide the brain with one clear picture.

However, when the eyes are misaligned, or there is an issue in the brain, two different images are sent to the brain, resulting in double vision. While momentary double vision can happen occasionally, persistent double vision usually indicates an underlying eye or health condition that requires medical attention.

What Are the Causes of Double Vision?

There are numerous reasons why someone might be experiencing double vision. The causes range from minor and very treatable eye conditions to more serious and advanced medical conditions.

Some of the possible causes of double vision are:

Eye Coordination Disorders

It is expected your eyes work together in unison to give you single clear images. When they don’t work together correctly one could have a variety of problems such as

double vision (words doubling up or ‘moving’ on the page), suppression (the turning off of the vision in one eye), fatigue, headaches, eye aches, poor comprehension, poor depth perception and distance judgments, and avoidance of close work.

In addition, often times patients with an eye coordination disorder may have difficulty paying attention to avoid schoolwork or reading. Eye coordination refers to eye movements to evaluate how accurately and smoothly the eyes can stay aligned on the moving object or text.

Catching such issues early on with tracking exercises ensures they do not progress into more significant long-term problems that could impact vision, reading abilities, and sometimes even sports performance.


Astigmatism is an imperfection in the curvature of the cornea or lens in one or both eyes. This causes blurred and distorted vision at all distances.

In some cases, uncorrected astigmatism can lead to double vision as the two eyes cannot focus clearly on the same image. Luckily, in most cases, astigmatism can be easily corrected with visual aids like glasses and contact lenses.

Dry Eyes

Dry eyes occur when there is not enough quality tear production to keep the eyes properly lubricated. This causes discomfort, irritation, and blurred vision.If dry eyes are left untreated, the blurred vision can become bad enough to cause double vision. If your eye doctor determines that dry eyes are the cause of your double vision, they will create a treatment plan to help improve the lubrication of your cornea.


Strabismus is the misalignment of the eyes, where they do not point in the same direction. This means that each eye views a slightly different image, and the brain receives two images rather than one unified one.

There are different treatment options for strabismus, depending on the severity of the condition. If you are diagnosed with strabismus, your eye doctor will determine whether or not you need glasses, surgery, or if vision therapy is the best treatment option for you.

Myasthenia Gravis

Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune neuromuscular disease that leads to fluctuating muscle weakness and fatigue. Double vision is a common symptom, as the muscles controlling eye movement can be affected.

Giant Cell Arteritis

Giant cell arteritis is inflammation of blood vessels, usually affecting the arteries in the head and neck. Double vision can occur if this affects blood flow to the eye muscles or optical nerve.

Giant cell arteritis, sometimes called GCA, requires urgent steroid treatment to prevent permanent vision loss. Since some causes of diplopia, like GCA, can be very serious and cause permanent vision loss, it is essential to visit your eye doctor right away if you notice any new vision symptoms.

Brain Tumor or Aneurysm

A brain tumor or aneurysm that exerts pressure on the nerves related to eye function and movement can lead to double vision. Any sudden onset of persistent double vision warrants rapid medical evaluation to check for such serious conditions.

The only way to know definitively what is causing your double vision is to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor at Blaine Eye Clinic. They will be able to evaluate your eyes and determine what may be causing your double vision.

In some cases, a referral to a specialist may be necessary to find the root cause of your symptoms and develop a treatment plan.

How is Double Vision Treated?

The specific treatment for double vision depends on identifying the underlying condition causing it. Therefore, a comprehensive eye exam is necessary for evaluation.

Refractive errors like astigmatism can be corrected with prescription glasses or contacts. Eye muscle problems may require eye exercises, vision therapy, or eye muscle surgery to realign the eyes.

Underlying neurological or vascular disorders need to be treated first to resolve the double vision. Temporary prism lenses can sometimes be prescribed to ease symptoms of double vision while pursuing treatment.

At Blaine Eye Clinic, we conduct thorough ocular and medical evaluations tailored to each patient’s specific symptoms and history. Our goal is to accurately diagnose the root cause of vision issues to be able to provide the most effective treatment solutions.

Should I Visit The Eye Doctor For Double Vision?

If you notice new onset double vision, you should schedule an eye exam right away, even if you have had a recent vision checkup. While very brief double vision can happen when you are extremely exhausted or sick, persistent double vision is your brain’s way of telling you something more significant is interfering with normal eye control or visual pathway signaling.

Never assume sudden, persistent double vision will just resolve on its own without proper diagnosis and treatment. Double vision always warrants a prompt, comprehensive eye examination regardless of your age or general health status.

Catching the root problem early is key to preserving vision and protecting your overall health and well-being.

Are you experiencing double vision? Schedule an appointment at Blaine Eye Clinic in Blaine, MN, today!