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Temporary Causes Of Double Vision (Diplopia)

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Diplopia, also known as double vision, needs to be evaluated by your eye doctor to determine the cause. Double vision can be caused by damage to the cornea of your eye, eye muscle dysfunction, and cataracts. If you have a cataract, your natural eye lens because cloudy, which can cause blurred vision, visual distortion, and diplopia. While certain causes of double vision can be long-lasting or even permanent, the following causes of diplopia are usually only temporary.

Medication Side Effects

In addition to blurred vision and dry eyes, certain medications can cause double vision. These medications include tamoxifen, which is a medication that is commonly prescribed to prevent the recurrence of breast cancer, and certain cardiac drugs such as amiodarone.

Sildenafil, a medication used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction can also cause double vision, and in some people, it can even cause their vision to take on a bluish tint. Fortunately, diplopia usually resolves once the medication has been discontinued or when the dosage has been decreased. If you still have double vision after your physician adjusts your medications, visit your eye doctor for a checkup.

Acute Sinusitis

In addition to nasal congestion, post-nasal drip, facial pressure, headache, and fatigue, acute sinusitis can also cause blurred vision and diplopia. Visual disturbances caused by acute sinusitis and sinus infections are typically related to an inflammatory response of one of your eye muscles or one of your cranial nerves, especially the abducens nerve.

The abducens nerve is your sixth cranial nerve. It is located within close proximity of your sinus cavity and when the sinus cavity becomes inflamed, so can the abducens nerve, resulting in double or blurred vision. If you have a bacterial sinus infection, your primary care physician can prescribe antibiotics.

Once your sinus infection has cleared up, inflammation of your eye muscles and abducens nerve may also subside, eliminating your diplopia. If you still have double vision after you have completed the entire course of your antibiotics, your eye doctor may recommend certain diagnostic tests such as a traditional sinus x-ray or a CT scan of your sinus cavity. This will help determine if any structures are putting pressure on your eye muscles or nerves. 

If you experience double vision, either unilaterally or bilaterally, make an appointment with your eye doctor. Whether diplopia is caused by your medications, acute sinusitis, a neurological disorder, or an ocular problem, it is almost always very treatable, especially when diagnosed early on.

 For more information, contact a company like Northwest Ophthalmology.