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Double Vision in Kids: Is It Serious?

by eprompt

Double Vision in Kids: Is It Serious?

Reviewed By Dr. Jodi Kuhn

Reading time: 5 minutes

If your child is struggling with vision issues, it’s natural to feel concerned. If your child is complaining of double vision, or diplopia, it can indeed prompt worry. But is it always a sign of a serious problem? 

In this blog, we’ll explore what causes double vision in kids, how it’s evaluated, and the typical treatments available.

What is Diplopia?

Double vision is a condition where two images of the same object are seen at once. The images can appear side by side, on top of each other, or both.

There are two types of diplopia:

  • Binocular diplopia: This occurs when both eyes do not work together properly, leading to each eye sending a different visual field to the brain.
  • Monocular diplopia: Unlike binocular diplopia, this form occurs in just one eye. Causes can include refractive errors or more rare conditions like autoimmune diseases.

What Causes Double Vision in Kids?

Double vision in children can be caused by a variety of factors, and understanding these is key to addressing the issue:

  • Eye muscles: Inconsistencies in the eye muscles can lead to difficulties in eye movement, resulting in double vision.
  • Refractive error: Nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism are the most common refractive errors causing double vision.
  • Astigmatism: This is when the cornea is irregularly shaped, causing blurred or distorted vision.
  • Strabismus:  More commonly known as a crossed eye, this condition occurs when the eyes are misaligned, causing double vision.
  • Optic nerve: Problems with the optic nerve can disrupt the visual signals sent to the brain, causing double or blurred vision.
  • Brain conditions: Since the brain plays a crucial role in processing visual information, conditions affecting the brain can manifest as vision issues, including double vision.

Identifying Double Vision in Kids

Your child may be experiencing double vision if they exhibit these  symptoms:

  • They may complain about seeing double images or have trouble focusing.
  • They may cover one eye to see better.
  • May complain of frequent headaches or eye strain, especially after reading or watching TV.
  • Difficulty reading and paying attention at school. 
  • They may complain of pain in one or both eyes. 

Is Double Vision in Kids Serious?

Double vision can be an indication of a more serious underlying condition, especially if other symptoms are present. If your child is experiencing double vision, it’s important to visit an eye doctor for a comprehensive evaluation. They will perform various tests to determine the cause and severity of the issue.

It’s important to note that not all cases of double vision in kids are cause for alarm. In some cases, it could be a temporary issue caused by fatigue or an eye infection. 

Persistent double vision needs further investigation to rule out underlying conditions, including:

  1. Thyroid Conditions
  2. Autoimmune Diseases
  3. Head Injuries
  4. Brain Conditions

Treatment Options

The treatment of double vision focuses on addressing the underlying cause. Available treatments include:

  • Eye exercises: To strengthen eye muscles and improve eye movement coordination.
  • Vision therapy: A set of personalized exercises aimed at correcting vision issues.
  • Eyewear adjustments: The use of prescription glasses, contact lenses, or even an eye patch can help in managing double vision.
  • Surgery: In some cases, correcting the muscle or eye structure can offer a long-term solution.

When to See a Doctor

If your child complains of persistent double vision or any other vision anomalies, seek professional advice, particularly if accompanied by:

  • Sudden onset of symptoms
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Any additional neurological symptoms

Youth Vision: Your Kid-Friendly Dentist in Denver

Double vision in kids can be a sign of an underlying condition, so it’s important to address it right away. Our team of experienced and friendly optometrists specialize in pediatric eye care. We provide comprehensive evaluations and personalized treatment plans for all vision issues.  

If you are searching for an eye doctor in Denver, Aurora, Thornton, or Hampden, call Youth Vision at (303) 953-8801 to book an appointment. We look forward to meeting you!