Double seeing: symptoms and treatment of diplopia

Seeing double has a bad effect and Marc Marquez, the Honda rider who suffered from diplopia, the medical term used to indicate the disorder, knows it well. In the case of the pilot it is one form so-called transitory, linked to the after-effects of a serious fall. But this is not the only reason for diplopia. Those suffering from diplopia should not underestimate the disorder, but contact the specialist for an accurate eye examination, which also includes some detailed examinations. Sometimes, in fact, seeing double can also be the signal of a disease, but only the specialist can evaluate it through diagnostic investigations.

The eye examination

The distorted perception of images can be monocular, when it affects only one eye, or binocular, if it affects both. Two different forms, with different causes. For this reason, the specialist visit is essential, to first determine the type of diplopia. The first step is the determination of the quality of sightthrough progressively smaller letter tables, followed by the movement assessment test Of the eyes. Usually the doctor uses an object such as a pen, which he moves from right to left, top to bottom, in order to observe the coordination of the eyes and their reactivity to stimuli. Finally, thefundus analysis with the slit lamp test. It consists in the projection of a very strong light inside the eye, to ensure that the specialist is able, with a special microscope, to visualize the bulb and the ocular adnexa, the corneal layers, the vitreous and the anterior chamber, the crystalline and the iris, for a clinical analysis of the eye. Finally, in case of doubts, the specialist can also request the computed tomography, an examination that allows to have accurate images of the extraocular muscles. They are six muscles, which allow the movement of the eyes in all directions. In the case of diplopia, these involuntary muscles do not always work perfectly.

The causes and symptoms of diplopia

Monocular diplopia is an orthoptic-ophthalmological problem. At the base there may be visual defects such as astigmatism, diseases such as cataracts, disorders such as pterygium, that is, an abnormal growth on the cornea of ​​tissue belonging to the conjunctiva. The cause can also be a swelling of the eyelid, or a cyst.

On the other hand, it is quite different diplopiawhen it’s bilateral. In those who suffered from strabismus as a child, it can be a relapse. But it can also be the alarm bell for very serious pathologies. “It could be the rye from a neurodegenerative disease like multiple sclerosis,” he points out Marco Moschi, surgeon of the Bavarian Ophthalmic Clinic. “Or the first hint of muscular dystrophy. It can also be a vascular problem such as a transient ischemic attack, or a tumor form. For this reason, in the case of bilateral diagnosis, it is not necessary to waste time but ask for the consultation of the most suitable specialist as soon as possible, based on the diagnostic suspicion “. The description of the symptoms. Usually, monocular diplopia causes only distorted vision of images. In the other case, however, headaches, nausea, dizziness, blurred vision are also more easily present.

How to cure

The treatments are targeted and vary according to the problem that triggered the diplopia. «In cases like neurodegenerative diseases, it is possible prescription of prismatic glasses»Adds Dr. Moschi. «They are special corrective lenses, which favor the fusion of the split images».

When it comes instead of strabismussurgery may sometimes be necessary to correct the ocular deviation. In the case, however, of trauma concussion, a long period of rest is usually required, under specialist supervision to keep the problem monitored. In some cases, in fact, it may be necessary to surgically intervene on the compromised extraocular muscles.

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