Double Vision

About Double Vision

Double vision, which is also known as diplopia, can be temporary or long-lasting, depending on the causes or possible multiple causes. The double image can appear horizontally, vertically, or torsionally (twisted). True double vision involves seeing two images, one from each eye. If two images are seen in only one eye, this might be a sign of a different problem.

When your child is seeing double it can be very worrisome for parents and adults with double vision may find it hard to do the things they need or want to do, but the specialists in pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus at Columbia are experts in diagnosing the cause of the double vision and making sure your child or you receive the best possible treatment.


Strabismus is an eye muscle disorder that is the most common cause of double vision in children, adolescents, and adults. Since the eyes are not aligned properly, two separate images of the same object may appear. However, double vision can occur in a variety of conditions ranging from mild and easily treatable to more severe, neurological, and even life-threatening, especially if it is the result of an underlying health condition. Therefore, double vision should never be ignored. 

Conditions We Treat

There are many other possible causes of double vision in children, adolescents, and adults. These conditions may include:

  • Strabismus
  • Astigmatism
  • Dry Eye
  • Keratoconus (outward bulging of the cornea)
  • Cataracts
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Brain conditions such as swelling, tumor, or aneurysm
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Diabetes
  • Certain medications


It is important to recognize the telltale signs that your child is seeing double, such as squinting, or moving their head strangely to look at objects, or even covering one eye at a time. Columbia ophthalmologists have a variety of ways to check for double vision when examining your child or you. 

Treatments We Offer 

Treating the double vision will depend on the cause. If strabismus is present, then glasses, eye exercises and/or surgery can correct the misalignment that is causing the diplopia. Corrective prism lenses can reduce double vision, or even eye patches can be used if the diplopia is caused by amblyopia or “lazy” eye.

If the problem is more complex, we offer a multidisciplinary approach with our team of pediatric specialists available. 

Why Choose Columbia?

At Columbia, your team of pediatric ophthalmologists will coordinate your child’s care and work together to diagnose and refer to other experts as needed. Our pediatric ophthalmologists, combined with our state-of-the-art facilities, Columbia’s innovative eye research, and Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, will ensure that your child receives the most advanced eye care.