Diplopia is the medical term for double vision, a symptom of many different medical conditions. Diplopia is not a condition per se. It is only one characteristic of diseases affecting the eye or the brain as well as the optic nerve which runs from the retina and ends in the vision center of the brain.
Diplopia - Causes
There are so many diseases which are characterized by diplopia. Still, most of them also cause additional symptoms and sign which makes diagnosing of the underlying condition much easier.
The error may occur in the very eye, muscles controlling the movement of the eye, the optic nerve (the one in charge of transfer of electrical impulses from the retina) and finally, parts of the brain responsible for processing received information regarding vision.
Any disease affecting the vision system of the eye may cause double vision. First of all, there are medical issues affecting the cornea such as infections (herpes, shingles etc.) or complications of surgeries like LASIK surgery. As for lens, cataract is the most common condition affecting this part of the eye that may be blamed fro double vision.
Muscles of the eye may not be synchronized and function properly. If this is the case, the one will inevitably face with double vision. Eye muscle problems are most commonly caused by myasthenia gravis and Grave's disease although there are other reasons behind double vision due to improper functioning of eye muscles.
Double vision can also occur if there are diseases affecting the optic nerve, damaging its fibers. For instance, this is reported in case of multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre syndrome and uncontrolled diabetes.
Finally, double vision develops as a consequence of damage to the vision center in the brain. Such damage is connected with stroke, brain aneurysms and increased pressure inside the skull due to the presence of brain tumors or bleeding inside the brain. Migraine headaches do not cause any damage to the brain but may be blamed for double vision.
Diplopia - Treatment Options
Treatment for diplopia is not unique since this medical issue is associated with a variety of different conditions. So only after diagnosing the underlying cause doctors away opt for the most convenient treatment approach. While some patients are treated with medications others need to undergo surgery. In some the combination of the two is the best possible way to deal with double vision. Fortunately, most cases of double vision are dealt with successfully.