Diplopia is derived from two Greek words – diplo – which means double and -opia – which means vision. The illusion of seeing double comes about when the eye muscles are weakened. When the muscles that control the eye become uncoordinated or just don't work perfectly, you see a double image where there should only be one.

Double Vision courtesy of Amyelyse

It usually resolves itself over time. Occasionally a short treatment of corticosteroids (or steroid treatment as it is sometimes called), is prescribed to help it along. Your doctor may also have you wear an eye patch on one eye. This isn't a good long-term solution, however. For short tasks, such as driving, it works well.

If you wear an eye patch for too long, it can interfere with the brains ability to produce a single image even with your weakened eye muscles. Some doctors may prescribe special glasses to help with the problem. These glasses have prisms that help minimize the double vision.

Other treatments are eye exercises, surgery, and possibly even botulinum toxin (or botox injections).

This is just one of the eye symptoms common to multiple sclerosis. Optic neuritis is very common, as are nystagmus. As with double vision, they also resolve themselves over time.

<-----Go from Diplopia back to the Glossary

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.