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Binocular Diplopia

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I only just found out there is a name for my double-vision, "binocular-diplopia". I am 17 years old and all my life have had a double-vision thing going on with my eyes. I didn't realise there was any problem until I recently looked into it online, discovering the description of this problem fits the description of diplopia. If I cover one eye, it goes away. This goes for both eyes. When I focus on an onject I see it as one, but whatever is behind it it doubled. What I need to know is how serious this can be for me... I have had no previous medical problems with my eyes, or with my head at all, so it has not been caused by any kind of tumors, etc. Basically i'm not sure what to do about this, I haven't told my parents about it. Should I see an eye-doctor of some kind? Please guide me on what I should do...
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replied October 6th, 2004
Ashley_123, please don't be at all concerned about this. You have noticed a completely normal phenomenon called "physiological diplopia". Your double vision does not involve the actual object you are looking at, but an object either behind or in front of it.
The eyes work in pairs to give us full 3d vision. Because they're offset at slightly different angles in our heads, each eye gets a very slightly different picture from the other.When you look at something, the brain merges the two images to form one single picture, but it leaves the other objects in your field of vision still as two separate things.
Try this test : hold two different coloured pens in line with each other in front of your nose, with the nearest one (a red pen, for talk's sake) about six inches away and the further one (a black one - again, just to be different) about a foot away.
If you look at the red one, the black one will be double. Now look at the black one - the red one will be double. If you didn't see this, then you would have little or no depth perception, and may have a lazy eye.

Binocular diplopia which you refer to occurs in a case where if you look at an object, it appears double - your eyes can't make one picture from the two separate images.

I know it's a longwinded - and probably confusing - explanation; but I hope it's allayed your fears! Wink
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Users who thank kalise25 for this post: user43604 

replied August 29th, 2012
same encounter with ashley
i have similar case with ashley i also experiencing it but me i also felt dizziness with this phyiological diplopia.... what can i do! pls help me......
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replied October 15th, 2013
Convergence Insufficiency
I have the same problem with Ashley, I first noticed my eye problem when I was 5. I told my parents one day in church asking, "Do you see two heads per person on everyone?" Aha they had no idea what was going on. In 2009 I got diagnosed and took lots of MRI scans and they found nothing in my brain. However, unlike Kalise said, it isn't normal. There's a thing called convergence insufficiency. It occurs when your eyes don't turn inward properly while focusing on a nearby object. When reading or looking at a close object, our eyes should converge - turn inward together to focus - so that they provide binocular vision and you see a single image. But if you have convergence insufficiency, you won't be able to move your eyes inward to focus normally."
I got diagnosed at the Mayo Clinic Hospital and got all of these papers on converge insufficiency and I now have these many exercises I have to do to "get rid of it". But it doesn't go away. They say it takes like 3 months for you to notice anything different, but that it can always come back after an illness or lack of sleep.

Hope this helped. It's been a long and frustrating journey for me since I am now 18 and I have had this since age 5 (as far back as I remember), and as an art student I'm finding it nearly impossible to achieve any of my college work.
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