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You rely on sharp, focused vision to drive, see the leaves on the trees, and gaze at your loved ones’ faces. So when you’re suddenly seeing double—two images of everything—it’s understandably alarming.

The causes of double vision range from having the wrong eyeglass prescription to eye misalignment or a neurological issue. It’s important to see a doctor right away if you’re seeing double.

Is Double Vision in One Eye or Both?

Double vision in both eyes is considered more serious than in just one eye. Close one eye at a time to see if it’s in one or both:

  1. Seeing double in one eye (monocular double vision) is not considered dangerous and is often related to dry eye, astigmatism or a cataract. 
  2. Seeing double in both eyes (binocular double vision) is caused by eye misalignment. You may just have blurriness while adjusting to a new eyeglass prescription. It may be caused by an ongoing condition called vertical heterophoria (VH). It can also be caused by head trauma or another neurological condition.  Because some causes are serious, you should see your doctor right away if you notice binocular double vision.

A Mechanical Glitch in Eyesight  

Double vision, or diplopia, can result from mechanical problems with the eyes:

  • the focal point of one eye is changed and it disrupts the way your brain processes images
  • the eyes are crossed or out of alignment, a condition called strabismus

Double Vision and Vertical Heterophoria  

If you’re suffering from double vision along with other symptoms ranging from dizziness to imbalance, you might have vertical heterophoria (VH). In this condition, the eyes are misaligned. This disrupts the eye-brain connection when it comes to processing what you see. The result: You may suffer from nausea, reading problems, headaches, anxiety, and more.

VH can be a debilitating condition that interferes with your daily life and ability to perform routine tasks.

Prism Glasses to Correct Double Vision  

Thankfully there are solutions for double vision and VH. Prism glasses use a triangle-shaped prism embedded in the eyeglasses to fuse the two images you’re seeing into a single image again.

Images are processed by the brain when light enters your eye, passing through the cornea and falling on the retina. With normal vision, the eyes work in tandem and the brain sees just one image. With double vision, light falls in different places on the retina.

Prism eyeglasses work by bending the light before it strikes the retina. They cause light to fall correctly on the retina again. This allows the brain to fuse the two images like normal and produce one clear picture.

That means your vision is also back to normal and the headache, eye strain, nausea, and other symptoms are relieved.

At NeuroVisual Specialists of Florida, we’re the only certified optometrist in the state specializing in NeuroVisual Optometry. We’re dedicated to helping patients with binocular vision and VH. If you’re experiencing double vision, headaches, dizziness, nausea or other symptoms, take our questionnaire to see if your eyes might be the problem. Or, call our office at (561) 733-9008 for prompt, expert relief.

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