Diplopia meaning, definition, causes, symptoms | Allurbenefit

Written by tanaypatel5212


May 30, 2021

 Diplopia meaning

When we get hurt in the eye, we all see the same object twice. In simple language, it causes double vision or we can say diplopia.

  • Di means Double.
  • Plopia means to see or to vison

So the meaning of diplopia is double vision.

In this article, we will try to explain Diplopia, its causes, symptoms, and related things about it. Read the full article for interesting knowledge and much more.

What is the definition of Diplopoa?

Diplopia in simple language is defined as Double vision, in which a person sees every object double. Double image can be side by side or can be upside or downside.

Video courtesy:- Top Doctors UK(YouTube)

Vertical Diplopia

If a double image is seen upside or downside to the object is defined as vertical diplopia

Horizontal Dilopoa

If the double image of a particular object seen side by side it defined as horizontal diplopia

Oblique Diplopia

If double vision or double image is seen obliquely to object it defined as oblique diplopia

Another classification of diplopia is based on the affection of eyes in patients.

Monocular diplopia:-

If only one eye is affected in the patient or double vision is in only one eye, it is defined as mono ocular diplopia.

Binocular diplopia:-

If both eyes are affected in the patient, it is defined as binocular diplopia.

Causes of Diplopia

There are various causes for Diplopia most common causes are

Corneal causes:-

The cornea is the most outer layer of the eye, any type of damage or infection can lead to difficulty in making perfect vision which results in double vision.

The main function of the cornea is to capture light from any objects and focus them in one place, due to this mechanism we able to see the perfect picture of any objects we see.

Defect in this mechanism due to any reason may result in double vision or difficulty in eye vision.

The most common causes of diplopia due to corneal causes are

  • Keratoconus, when your cornea becomes cone-shaped
  • Infections, like shingles or herpes
  • Scars
  • Dryness
  • Damage to cornea

Causes in Lense:-

Lenses are second to the cornea, the main function of the lens is to capture the focused lights from the cornea and refract them to the retina present on the backside of your eye.

Damage to lense or disability to working in lense for any reason can cause Diplopia and double vision.

The most common cause in less by which diplopia can develop is cataracts.

It can occur in a single eye or both eyes. There are so many types of cataracts in the eye, any type of cataract can cause diplopia to the person.

Defect in muscles:-

Muscles of the eye also play a major role in making perfect vision. Muscles of both eyes coordinate with each other and align your eyes on one object.

Weakness or damage to the muscle of one eye or both eyes can result in vision problems.

Common muscle causes by which diplopia develops

Damage or defect in the nerve which controls muscle coordination

Myasthenia gravis:- 

This is one kind of autoimmune disease that restricts your nerve and muscle coordination and stops the nerve to tell the muscle what to do. This leads to the condition of double vision.

Graves disease and thyroid condition also affect muscle coordination and sometimes cause Double vision problems and other visual problems.

Causes in Nerve:-

Nerves are the mediator that carries information from the brain to the eyes and other structures that what to do and what to not do.

Any defect in nerve functions and damage to the nerve leading to conditions like double vision.

A most common condition in nerves by which diplopia develops

Guillain-Barre syndrome :-

This causes weakness in growing condition and leads to damage in nerve, this ultimately leads to visual problems like diplopia.

Multiple sclerosis:-

It affects especially the nervous system and affects the brain, spinal cord along nerve sometimes. So some time patients with multiple sclerosis see double.


Patients with diabetes may suffer from nerve damage which can cause visual problems to the patients.

Causes in Brain:-

The brain is the ultimate organ of the human body. All cognitive processes occur in the brain. Nerves capture information from the eyes and provide it to the brain, where images are handled.

Defects in this mechanism can cause visual problems also any type of condition where the brain is directly affected, double vision can be seen.

Most common conditions in the brain by which diplopia develops

  • Tumors
  • Aneurysms
  • Strokes
  • Increase pressure due to injury or any causes.

Symptoms of Diplopia or Double vision

  • One or both eyes not lining up
  • “wandering eye” or “cross-eyed” look
  • Pain while moving your eye
  • Pain around eyes, temporal region, upperside of eyes
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Weakness in eyes or other eye structures
  • Drooping of eyelids

Diagnosis of Diplopia

Binocular double vision becomes prominent only in certain conditions, such as up or Medical History
Medical history is the first and prior thing to diagnose any condition in the medical field. It is a must to take the medical history of any patient for diagnosis purposes.

It includes symptoms, some questions like

  1. I see a double image is only one eye or both?
  2. If closing one eye helps to disappear of the double image?
  3. Also, the doctor may ask if the double image is verticle, horizontal or oblique in nature.

This type of question helps the doctor to determine what is the type of diplopia. What are the factors which can affect the condition more and helps to determine what are the probable cause for this condition.

Your doctor also asks whether you have any medical conditions, such as diabetes or vertigo, that may be associated with double vision.

The doctor also asks about any trauma to the eye or head recently.

Eye examination for diagnosis

The doctor examines your eye first for any defect or damage to your and other structures like cornea, lense.

Another purpose of the eye examination is to find out it is monocular or binocular, and if your eyes are aligned with each other or not.

If your eyes are misaligned then the physician may examine them with a prism-shaped tool. It helps to determine the degree of misalignment.

Determining the degree of misalignment can help to correct the problem and removes double vision from the affected eye.

Also, the doctor asks to follow his finger with your eye to determine muscle weakness.

Neurological examination for diagnosis

During this doctor checks for ptosis or drooping of eyelids which is the result of nerve disorder or damage to the nerve.

Also, doctors may look for muscular dystrophy or myasthenia gravis.

MRI Scans

MRI Scan provides a three-dimensional image of the brain and spinal cord, this helps to determine conditions like a tumor, damaged areas, inflammation, etc.

Blood Tests.

Blood tests help to determine condition which can cause double image or diplopia.

The most common conditions determine during blood tests reports are

  • Grave’s disease
  • Lyme disease
  • Hyperthyroidism

Treatment of Diplopia

  • Certain medication helps if the double image is due to myasthenia gravis
  • Medication or surgery is done if the condition is due to Grave’s disease
  • Medicine and insulin to treat diabetes
  • Pinching or blame of muscle helps to cure if the double image is due to muscle weakness

These are some ways to treat this condition, mode of treatment is depended on signs symptoms, and other factors like severity.

How to prevent diplopia?

Here the fact is there is no way to prevent diplopia as this condition occurs due to various reasons, there is no proper way to prevent it.


Time to summing up the article, we hope this article will help you to clear your doubts regarding this condition you can let know us in the comments section also.

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