What is Diplopia?

Diplopia, commonly known as double vision caused by a defective function of the extraocular muscles or a disorder of the nerves that innervate (stimulate) the muscles. The images seen by the two eyes are fused into a single picture by the brain. If the eyes do not point at the same object, the image seen by each eye is different and cannot be fused. This results in double vision.


Diplopia has a diverse range of ophthalmologic, infectious, autoimmune, neurological, and neoplastic causes.

  • Damage to the third, fourth, or sixth cranial nerves, which control eye movements.
  • Cancer
  • Trauma
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Fluoroquinolone antibiotics
  • Botulism
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • Brain tumor
  • Sinusitis
  • Abscess
  • Wernicke’s syndrome
  • Graves disease
  • Drunkenness
  • Orbital myositis
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Anisometropia
  • Salicylism
  • Strabismus
  • Lyme Disease



Misalignment of one or both eyes
• Pain with eye movements in one or both eyes
• Pain around the eyes, such as in the temples or eyebrows
• Headache
• Nausea
• Weakness in the eyes or anywhere else
• Droopy eyelids

  • Eyes appear “crossed,” misaligned, or wander.
  • Double vision