Focusing on Double Vision

We don’t think about it very often, but the ability for our eyes (two separate organs) to take in information, and fuse it into one image is nothing short of remarkable. It’s an excruciating process, requiring perfect levels of muscle tension and precision timing. What’s more amazing is that for the most part, all of this happens without us even having to think about it. But sometimes, our eyes don’t give us one image. Sometimes, our eyes give us two blurry, overlapping images, and that’s usually a sign that something’s gone wrong. Double Vision Vs. Ghost Images When we talk

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We don’t think about it very often, but the ability for our eyes (two separate organs) to take in information, and fuse it into one image is nothing short of remarkable. It’s an excruciating process, requiring perfect levels of muscle tension and precision timing. What’s more amazing is that for the most part, all of this happens without us even having to think about it.

But sometimes, our eyes don’t give us one image. Sometimes, our eyes give us two blurry, overlapping images, and that’s usually a sign that something’s gone wrong.

Double Vision Vs. Ghost Images

When we talk about double vision, many of us are actually referring to ghost images. While double vision usually involves clearly seeing the majority of an object twice, ghost images usually appear around the edge of an object, like a transparent hazy copy, sitting just behind the object at which we’re looking.

Potential Causes

Be it double vision or ghost images, these phenomena are really more like symptoms than an actual stand alone condition. The following issues can cause or contribute to the presence of double vision and ghost images.

Eye Surgery

It’s not uncommon for patients to develop double vision shortly after receiving laser refractive surgery. These procedures change the shape of your corneas. When your cornea is an irregular shape, it causes light to scatter rather that focusing it properly into a single image.

For the most part, these instances of double vision will clear up on their own after a month or so. You doctor may recommend eyedrops to speed up the process. If the problem persists, you may require a second surgery to further reshape your corneas.

Head & Brain Injuries

Double vision sometimes comes on suddenly due to head injuries, strokes, or brain tumors. If you experience double vision seemingly out of nowhere or following a head injury, you should seek immediate medical care. You could be at risk for brain damage, so it’s crucial you do not wait before seeking assistance.

Dry Eye

When dry eye is particularly severe, it can cause double vision and ghost images. Your eyes need proper lubrication to work properly, so when your tears are too few or poor in quality, your eyesight starts to suffer. Over the counter artificial tears may relieve your symptoms and get rid of your dry eye temporarily. However, to actually cure your dry eye, you’ll need to see an optometrist.

Cataracts

Sometimes as we age, the proteins in our eye fluid start to rearrange, collecting at the lense of our eyes and clouding our vision. These cloudy lenses are called cataracts. When light travels through a cataract, these proteins cause it to scatter, projecting multiple incomplete images into your eye. This effect is particularly strong when looking directly at lights. Cataract surgery is quite simple and effective; removing the cloudy lense, and therefore double vision and ghost images.

Double Vision Could Indicate a Bigger Problem – See a Doctor

If you’re experiencing regular double vision or ghost images, chances are there’s something not quite right with your eyes. Book an appointment with your optometrist and let them know that you’re experiencing double vision. The sooner we find the problem, the sooner we can fix it.

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