Double vision or diplopia is a condition where the images and text you see appear in double. The images or text may overlap with one another or they can be slightly separated to make it look like there are two of everything. The condition can be very annoying and disruptive, as it makes it difficult to focus to see clearly.
One common question people with diplopia have is whether LASIK double vision laser eye surgery is available to help resolve the condition. While there are double vision corrective surgery options, long before undergoing surgery the first and most important step is to find out the underlying causes for your double vision.
Common Causes of Diplopia
Double vision can be caused due to a wide range of underlying conditions and problems. Some of the more common ones include:
1. Muscle/Nerve Disorders: Sometimes there can be muscle and/or nerve disorders in the eye that cause double vision due to misalignment. There are several ways to treat this cause, and sometimes surgery may be needed for realignment.
2. Astigmatism: Some people who have astigmatism will experience double vision. This can be caused by abnormalities in the lens or cornea where they are not shaped correctly. Laser eye surgery could help fix the imperfections in the eye and alter it so that the shape is restored to resolve diplopia.
3. Medical Conditions: There is a host of medical conditions that, if not treated, could eventually lead to diplopia. These include, but may not be limited to, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, stroke, brain tumor, and aneurysm. Treating the specific medical condition could resolve double vision.
4. Cataracts: As cataracts start to form in the eye and cloud the vision, the refractive angle of the eye can be blocked in such a manner as to cause double vision. Some people may experience diplopia in one eye when their cataracts are developing at different intervals. Other people could experience double vision in both eyes if their cataracts are developing simultaneously.
5. Eye Infections: If you have pink eye (conjunctivitis) or some other type of eye infection, you may have double vision. Eye surgery would not be appropriate but, rather, using prescription eyedrops to get rid of the infection.
6. Eye Injuries: If your eye is injured from sports, a car accident, or some other reason, you may see double for a short period afterward. You would want to seek medical treatment from a qualified eye surgeon to ensure the retina has not become detached. If it has, then retinal reattachment surgery could be required.
As seen, finding out the cause of the double vision is essential to determine the most appropriate treatment. In cases where the condition is due to astigmatism or cataracts, then seeing a laser eye surgeon to find out what laser eye surgeries can correct the condition would be the appropriate next step.
Is There an Age Limit for LASIK for Double Vision?
LASIK for double vision is only viable when you have astigmatism and are between the ages of 19 and 40. After age 40, the eye can gradually start to change and affect vision more frequently. In cases where the diplopia is due to cataracts, then LASIK would not be the appropriate treatment.
Instead, the cloudy natural lenses of the eyes would need to be replaced with Intraocular Lenses (IOLs). IOLs are a type of implantable contact lens that restores vision after the cataracts are removed and resolves problems with double vision.
If you are experiencing double vision due to astigmatism, cataracts, an eye infection, or an eye injury, please feel free to contact Dougherty Laser Vision at (805) 987-5300 to schedule an appointment today! We offer several treatment options for diplopia caused by conditions of the eye.
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