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Double vision means seeing two images instead of one. To see normally, your eyes, the muscles that move them, the nerves that send images to your brain, and your brain all have to work together. A problem with any of these parts can cause double vision.
Double vision can occur in one or both eyes. It can be horizontal (so the images appear side by side) or vertical (so one image appears above the other).
Double vision may be caused by a muscle or nerve problem. Or it may be caused by an eye problem such as a cataract or by a brain problem such as a stroke. When the cause is found, double vision can usually be corrected.
To find the cause, you may need tests. These may include blood tests and imaging tests such as MRI. You may need to follow up with an eye doctor or a brain specialist (neurologist) for more testing or treatment.
The doctor has checked you carefully, but problems can develop later. If you notice any problems or new symptoms, get medical treatment right away.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: April 29, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Thomas M. Bailey MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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