Double Vision Treatment in Traverse City MI

Double vision means seeing two copies of the same object when you should only be seeing one. These objects may appear on top of each other or side by side. The first is called vertical diplopia, and the second is called horizontal diplopia.

What Causes Double Vision?

You may have suffered damage to your nerves or eye muscles in one or both of your eyes. Injury to eye muscles or nerves may cause diplopia, aka double vision.

The muscles moving the eyes help each eye to create an image. Your brain puts the images from each eye together into one coherent picture.

Certain illnesses can debilitate these eye muscles, distorting the picture that your brain creates and thus resulting in double vision. 

There are two types of diplopia: binocular and monocular.

Binocular Diplopia

With binocular diplopia, double vision will disappear if you cover one of your eyes. Double vision occurs because the two eyes aren’t working together correctly.


The most common causes of binocular diplopia are a squint or strabismus, but these do not always cause it. Other conditions that might cause it are:

  • Aneurysm: this describes a bulging blood vessel which can put pressure on eye muscle nerves.
  • Black eye: when you get a black eye, blood can collect around the injury, putting pressure on the eye or the muscles and nerves surrounding it. 
  • Brain tumor and cancers: when forming behind the eye, they can cause all sorts of vision problems.
  • Diabetes: can affect the nerves controlling eye muscle movement and can also harm the blood vessels supplying the retina.
  • Myasthenia gravis: can cause weakness in muscles, including those that control the eyes.
  • Stroke: during a stroke, blood vessels get obstructed. This obstruction can affect the vessels supplying the brain with blood or the nerves controlling eye muscles.
  • Thyroid dysfunction: changes in thyroid function can result in Graves’ ophthalmopathy, where the eyes protrude outward because of fat and tissue built up behind the eyes.

Monocular Diplopia

Monocular diplopia is not as common as binocular diplopia. This type of diplopia affects only a single eye. If you cover one eye and still have double vision, then you have monocular diplopia. People with monocular diplopia often report that one image is clear, but the other is faded or washed out. 


With this type of diplopia, the root problem is in the eye itself, not the brain. Therefore, many of these are eye-related issues. 

  • Astigmatism: this results from an irregularly shaped cornea surface shaped with curves like a football rather than round curves like a basketball. 
  • Cataracts: these occur in more than 50% of people in the US over the age of 80 and can cause diplopia in one eye.
  • Dry eye: this happens when the eye dries out too fast or doesn’t create enough tears. 
  • Keratoconus: a condition causing the eye to degenerate, becoming thin and curved over time. 

Retinal abnormalities such as macular degeneration.

Treatment for Double Vision

Treatment for diplopia may include medications, a prism in the prescription, vision therapy, or surgery.

It’s crucial to see an eye doctor right away if you experience diplopia. He or she will be able to treat it immediately, or they’ll recommend the right specialist to handle it. 

Don’t ignore double vision. If you ignore it for long enough, the problem may seem to disappear, but that’s just your brain tuning out one of the images. Letting your brain tune it out will make it more bearable for you, but it won’t address the root of the problem.

Contact Northern Vision Eye Care in Traverse City, MI

Do you need treatment for diplopia? Sign up for an appointment with Northern Vision Eye Care by giving us a call today, sending us a message, or stopping by our offices.

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