Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.


Double Vision Overview

What is double vision?
A person with double vision is failing to see a single clear image. Double vision may be caused by problems within the eye itself or by the nerves that control the movement of the eyes in the orbit. Causes for double vision in one eye include corneal abrasion, eye injury, dislocated lens, cataracts and keratoconjunctivitis. Causes for double vision in both eyes include myasthenia gravis, Grave's disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, cerebral aneurysm, migraine headaches, and brain tumors. Misalignment of the eyes, such as being cross-eyed or have a wandering eye can also cause double vision.

What symptoms can be associated with double vision?
Symptoms that may be associated with double vision include headaches, vertigo, localized weakness, eye pain, loss of vision, and seeing grey patches or flashing lights.

How does the doctor diagnose double vision?
The doctor may suspect the underlying cause for double vision after performing a medical history and physical examination. Testing is required to confirm the diagnosis and exclude other serious conditions that can cause double vision. Testing will usually include emergency CT scanning of the brain. In some cases, MRI scanning of the brain may be preferred over CT. Blood tests include CBC, electrolyte profile, and coagulation profile. Carotid artery tests for a stroke include carotid angiogram, carotid ultrasound and MRI angiography of the carotid arteries.

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