by Caleb Jones

An adult double vision clinic has launched at UAB Eye Care. Under the leadership of Dr.  Kristine Hopkins, chief of vision therapy, the new specialty clinic will provide relief to those whose lives have been impacted by this sometimes-debilitating condition.   

Double vision, or diplopia, is an eye disorder that typically occurs when someone’s eyes do not point together in the same place. If one eye is looking at a different object than the other, the brain gets the message that there are two of everything. According to Hopkins, the disorder can be debilitating.

“Double vision often has symptoms that can make simple everyday tasks such as reading and driving difficult, painful or even impossible,” she said. “It can be accompanied by intense headaches, a feeling of nausea and/or dizziness, blurred vision in one or both eyes and even pain when moving the eyes.”

Double vision can occur for a variety of reasons.

“Patients can develop double vision after an injury or a stroke,” she said. “It can also happen with some health conditions like thyroid dysfunction and neurological disorders. Sometimes double vision can result from natural age-related changes to the muscles around the eye.”

The underlying factor contributing to the condition must be determined before a treatment plan can be decided upon.

“Often, we can eliminate the double vision with prism lenses and/or vision therapy. Other times, eye muscle surgery is the best option,” Hopkins said.

The patients that Hopkins sees in the double vision clinic are typically referrals from other doctors and have already had a comprehensive eye exam. The role in this clinic is only to address the patient’s visual complaints of double vision, eye strain, and tracking difficulties. Patients referred to UAB Eye Care by outside doctors are asked to return to the referring doctor for routine eye care.

Anyone wanting to learn more about the double vision clinic or schedule an appointment is welcome to call UAB Eye Care at (205) 975-2020.