Double vision (diplopia) is when you look at 1 object but can see 2 images. It may affect 1 eye or both eyes.
Signs that your child may have problems with their vision include:
It's important to get double vision checked out, even if it comes and goes. It's sometimes a symptom of a serious condition.
111 will tell you what to do. They can arrange a phone call from a nurse or doctor if you need one.
Get an urgent GP appointment
A GP may be able to help you.
Ask your GP practice for an urgent appointment.
Your optician or GP can ask about your symptoms and do some simple, painless eye tests. They may refer you to an eye specialist in hospital for tests and treatment.
Your optician can also let you know if you need to see a GP instead.
Your eyecare team or GP can advise you about the best treatment for double vision once they work out the cause.
In some cases, this may be simple treatments such as eye exercises, wearing an eye patch or being prescribed glasses or contact lenses.
Some conditions that cause double vision may require eye surgery to correct the problem.
Double vision has many possible causes, depending on whether one eye or both eyes are affected.
Try covering one eye at a time to see if your double vision goes away.
If you still have double vision in one eye with the other one covered, it's probably only affecting that eye.
Double vision affecting both eyes is usually a symptom of a squint.
This is where problems with the eye muscles or nerves cause the eyes to look in slightly different directions.
Squints are more common in children but they don't always cause double vision. An untreated squint in children under 7 causes a lazy eye instead.
Squints in adults are sometimes a sign of a more serious condition.
Double vision affecting one eye is less common. It's usually caused by eye problems such as:
You must tell the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) if you're diagnosed with double vision as it could affect your ability to drive.
Page last reviewed: Sat Sep 2020 Next review due: Sat Sep 2020