There’s Only 1 of You, Why Do I See 2?


Courtesy of WikiMedia Commons

A more extreme case of strabismus, where the eye deviation can be seen.

Nothing is more frustrating than trying to read a book or article online without having cooperating eyes. Unless the reader strains their eye muscles causing pain and headaches, the text appears in both eyes, one layer on top of another, making the text illegible. 

What could possibly be the reason for such an unfortunate occurrence? Too much reading?

No, this is actually not usually caused by reading, or any other activity. It is a genetic issue. The most common version of this is a strain, also known as strabismus. A strabismus is where one of two eyes is more weakly connected to the brain than the other, resulting in it deviating from its original position.

This can be seen in a person’s eyes, but sometimes cannot even be noticed, as the eye movement is insufficient to be seen by another person. This is a major issue because many people who suffer from double vision do not actually know that they have double vision, and think that their condition is a normal thing because humans have 2 eyes and have lived with it their whole lives. 

So usually to find out about this,  the person needs to visit a doctor to even confirm that their condition is real.

Luckily, there are various solutions to this problem with varying prices and complexities. The most basic is to put a 3D prism in glasses. This is where the glasses have different levels of thickness throughout the lenses. This solution, however, is only suitable for less dire instances of strabismus. This is because the farther the eye moves, the thicker the glasses need to be. In most cases, the glasses would need to be thicker than a centimeter.

Another solution is to train the eye muscles, but this solution is by far the most difficult; requiring endurance of intense pain behind the eyes. An example of this method would be to use a string with differently colored balls along it. By holding one end of the string to the nose and one end tied to the wall, the eyes need to change between different levels of closeness, which is similar to a strength training program in the eyes. Because the eyes have difficulty adjusting to just one ball, adjusting to multiple balls quickly helps make eye muscles stronger.

 And of course, there is the extreme possibility of surgery, which would require the surgeon to cut the muscles on the sides of the eye to correctly align the eyes. This is the best, yet most expensive solution to the problem.

And after the surgery, it is very possible that the problem is not fully corrected, so eye exercises or prism glasses will still be required. 

When health problems like these are encountered, the most important thing to do first is to alert someone who can help before it is too late, instead of just trying to put up with the issue.