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Diplopia (Double Vision) near Chicago, IL

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About Diplopia

Diplopia, commonly known as double vision or ghost images, is a serious eye condition that occurs when you see two images of a subject at once. Double vision has several main causes, ranging from mild to serious, but it is typically caused by an underlying condition. Diplopia can occur in one eye (monocular diplopia) or both eyes (binocular diplopia). If you have noticed you are seeing doubling or overlapping of objects, it is important to get medical attention. At Kirk Eye Center, our eye care team is highly skilled in diagnosing and treating double vision. When you come in for your appointment, we will review your medical records and current symptoms to ensure that you receive the best treatment to address your double vision. We invite you to contact us for an appointment at our office located in either River Forest or Gurnee, IL.

Symptoms of DIPLOPIA

Patients who have double vision see things duplicated or appearing twice. It can also seem as if objects are blurry or on top of each other. Double vision can occur by itself or with other symptoms, like pain around the eyes, nausea, headaches, sagging eyelids, or eye muscle weakness. It is also possible for your eyes to be visibly misaligned (crossed eyes or a lazy eye). Since diplopia affects your spatial awareness, it may be difficult to drive or see distant objects.


Double vision can be caused by many different conditions, such as a minor eye problem, like dry eye. It could also indicate a more serious disease, such as keratoconus, cataracts, or corneal dystrophies. Double vision is also a less common side effect of laser vision surgery, like LASIK or PRK. Or, diplopia could be a symptom of an acute neurological condition, such as a brain tumor, brain swelling, stroke, brain hemorrhage, or cerebral edema. Double vision can also appear following a head injury.

What Are the Risk Factors of Diplopia?

Diplopia, commonly known as double vision, occurs when a person sees two images of a single object either some or all of the time. Diagnosing the underlying cause of diplopia is crucial to determine the appropriate treatment. This condition can arise from a variety of risk factors, including:

  • Eye Muscle Issues: Resulting from eye muscle surgeries or conditions like myasthenia gravis or thyroid eye disease
  • Nerve Disorders: Impairment may result from multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, or diabetic neuropathy
  • Brain Conditions: Conditions such as a stroke, brain aneurysm, brain tumor, or brain swelling can affect how the brain processes visual inputs and controls eye muscles
  • Injuries: Trauma to the head or eye can damage the nerves or the eye socket structure, leading to temporary or permanent double vision
  • Refractive Surgery: Sometimes after surgery to correct vision, like LASIK, patients might temporarily experience double vision
  • Cataracts: Cataracts can sometimes lead to diplopia in the affected eye because of the way light is diffracted by the cataract
  • Congenital Issues: Some people are born with conditions that prevent their eyes from aligning properly

Treatment Options for Double Vision

Before creating your personalized treatment plan, your ophthalmologist or optometrist will determine what is causing your condition. This is done through a comprehensive eye exam and visual tests conducted at our office. For common conditions, like dry eye, we may prescribe lubricating eye drops. If we discover that your double vision is permanent, special eyewear can be used to help your symptoms. A more serious eye problem or a neurological condition could indicate that either surgery or a referral to a specialist is the best course of action.

Diplopia FAQ

Is double vision a common condition?
The prevalence of diplopia varies and can affect people of all ages, but it's generally not considered a common condition. It is more frequently observed in older adults due to age-related degenerative changes, although it can also occur in children due to conditions like strabismus. It's vital to seek medical attention if you experience double vision, as it can indicate various underlying health issues.

How is diplopia diagnosed?
Diagnosis of diplopia involves a comprehensive examination by an ophthalmologist or a neurologist. This may include tests of your vision, an assessment of the physical state of your eyes, and a review of your medical history. In some cases, imaging tests like CT scans or MRIs may be used to look for underlying causes like tumors or brain abnormalities.

Can diplopia go away on its own?
In some cases, double vision may resolve on its own without treatment, especially if it is related to temporary conditions such as fatigue or excessive alcohol consumption. However, persistent double vision usually indicates an underlying condition that may require medical intervention. It's always recommended to seek medical advice if you're experiencing diplopia to ensure it's not a symptom of a more severe condition.

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Stop Seeing Double

Double vision can signal a more serious condition so it should not be ignored. If you are experiencing issues with seeing double, the professional eye care team at Kirk Eye Center in River Forest or Gurnee, IL can provide a diagnosis and determine your best course of treatment. We encourage you to contact our office to schedule an appointment.

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