It may be your eyes:
Double Vision and Dizziness: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Double Vision and Dizziness: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Welcome to a frank discussion about double vision and dizziness—two symptoms that can be concerning but often have manageable solutions. These conditions can be alarming when they happen out of nowhere, but understanding their potential causes and knowing what steps to take can help ease your worries. There are treatments for this type of vision loss and eye pain. Some treatments are as simple as rest or calming down, while some treatments for other causes, like binocular vision disorder, involve a caring clinical practice team and specialized eyewear. Let's get started.

Dizzy and Double Vision Symptoms

Besides seeing double or feeling dizzy, you may experience these other symptoms:
  • Nausea: Feeling queasy or like you might vomit.
  • Headaches: Often accompanying dizziness, headaches can range from mild to severe.
  • Difficulty focusing: Struggling to keep images clear or control eye movement.
  • Feeling off balance: Sensation of being unsteady on your feet, like the room is spinning.
These symptoms can occur together or individually, and their intensity can vary.

What to Do About Sudden Double Vision and Dizziness

sudden dizziness If you experience sudden double vision or dizziness, the first and most important thing to do is not to panic. Find a safe place to sit or lie down and take slow, deep breaths. Panic can sometimes exacerbate these symptoms, so staying calm is key. Next, know that there are many possible causes for the sudden onset of double vision and dizziness. Your central nervous system, mental health, recent activity, and more all potentially affects eye muscles and/or vision. Take a few minutes to relax and read through the following common causes to see if any stand out to you.

Common Causes of Dizziness and Blurred Vision

Understanding the potential causes of these symptoms can help you identify the underlying issue. Some common causes include:

Anxiety and Stress

Stress and anxiety can lead to physical symptoms like dizziness and can even affect your vision temporarily. Learning relaxation techniques or seeking counseling may help alleviate these symptoms.


Certain medications, especially those that affect blood pressure or cause drowsiness, can lead to dizziness, blurred vision, or depth perception issues as side effects. Consult your healthcare provider if you suspect your medication may be causing these symptoms.


Consuming alcohol in excess can mess with your cranial nerves, disrupting your balance and vision. Moderation is key, and if you experience persistent issues, it's best to avoid alcohol until you consult a healthcare professional.

Low Blood Sugar

A sudden drop in blood sugar levels, especially in individuals with diabetes, can result in dizziness and blurred vision. Eating regular meals and monitoring your blood sugar levels can help manage these symptoms.

Brain Injury

Head injuries, concussions, or trauma to the brain can cause double vision and dizziness. It's crucial to seek medical attention or visit the emergency room immediately if you've experienced a head injury and are now experiencing vision disturbances.


Some people experience visual disturbances, including double vision, during migraines. Identifying triggers and working with a healthcare provider to manage migraines can help reduce these symptoms.

Vertigo and Motion Sickness

Issues with your inner ear, such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV - caused by a displaced crystal within the inner ear) or motion sickness, can cause vertigo and make you feel dizzy. Repositioning maneuvers, balance exercises or medications prescribed by a specialist can often alleviate these symptoms.


While less common, a stroke can cause sudden double vision and dizziness, along with other severe symptoms like slurred speech or paralysis. If you suspect a stroke, seek immediate medical attention.

Vision Conditions

Certain eye conditions, like binocular diplopia, monocular diplopia, vertical diplopia, and Binocular Vision Dysfunction (BVD), can lead to double vision. BVD occurs when your eyes struggle to work together, causing overlapping images or difficulty focusing. Essentially, what should be one image appears as two images.

What is Binocular Vision Dysfunction (BVD)?

Binocular Vision Dysfunction (BVD) is a condition where your eyes have trouble working together as a team, leading to double vision, eye strain, headaches, and other symptoms. It can be caused by a misalignment of the eyes, a nerve condition, focusing issues, or other underlying vision problems. BVD is often misdiagnosed as a migraine disorder, excessive vertigo, Persistent Post-Concussive disorder, general muscle weakness, and more. This is why if you have persistent symptoms you must visit an eye specialist.

Treatment for Binocular Vision Dysfunction

Treatment for BVD typically involves a comprehensive eye examination by a vision specialist. Treatment should include:
  • BVD Test: The BVD test will determine whether you may have this disorder and give you proper next steps.
  • NeuroVisual Evaluation: This evaluation will determine whether prism glasses are right for you and what type of lenses you need.
  • Prism lenses: These lenses can help align images and reduce double vision.
A vision specialist will create a personalized treatment plan based on your symptoms and visual needs.

Prism Lenses Explained

Prism glasses are meticulously crafted eyewear engineered to incorporate specialized prismatic lenses. These lenses are finely tuned to possess the amazing capability to refract light upon entering the eye, strategically altering its path to compensate for any discrepancies in binocular vision alignment. This intricate optical adjustment facilitates the correction of image misalignment experienced by individuals struggling with Binocular Vision Dysfunction (BVD). Precisely manipulating the direction of light rays allows prism glasses to make two images into one. This enhances clarity and coherence in the visual field for those affected by BVD.

Frequently Asked Questions

When Does Dizziness Point to an Emergency?

Sudden, severe dizziness accompanied by other symptoms such as chest pain, difficulty speaking, or loss of consciousness can indicate a medical emergency. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience these symptoms.

Should I Be Concerned About Bloodshot Eyes?

Bloodshot eyes can be caused by various factors, including allergies, dryness, or eye strain. If your eyes are persistently red, painful, or accompanied by discharge, it's important to see an eye doctor for evaluation and treatment. This isn't necessarily a sign of BVD, though.

Are Eye Floaters and Flashes a Sign of BVD?

Eye floaters and flashes can be caused by changes in the vitreous gel inside your eye and are not typically associated with BVD. However, if you notice a sudden increase in floaters or flashes of light, especially if accompanied by other vision changes, it's essential to have your eyes examined by a specialist.

What Illness Can Cause Double Vision?

Double vision, also known as diplopia, can be caused by various medical conditions. Some common causes include:
  1. Strabismus: Misalignment of the eyes, where they point in different directions, can result in double vision.
  2. Astigmatism: An irregularly shaped cornea or lens in the eye can cause light to refract unevenly, leading to double vision.
  3. Cataracts: Clouding of the eye's lens can result in blurred or double vision.
  4. Corneal irregularities: Conditions affecting the cornea, such as keratoconus, can cause double vision due to irregularities in its shape.
  5. Neurological conditions: Disorders affecting the nerves or muscles controlling eye movement, such as multiple sclerosis or myasthenia gravis, can lead to double vision.

What is the Most Common Cause of Sudden Double Vision?

The most common cause of sudden double vision is a nerve or muscle dysfunction affecting the eye movement. Conditions such as cranial nerve palsies, which involve damage to the nerves controlling eye movement, can result in sudden onset double vision, in addition to BVD. Additionally, trauma to the eye or head, such as a blow to the head or a concussion, can also lead to sudden double vision by affecting the nerves or muscles responsible for eye movement. If sudden double vision occurs, it's essential to seek medical attention promptly to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.

Get Help at Vision Specialists of Michigan

If you're experiencing persistent double vision, dizziness, or other vision-related symptoms, don't hesitate to reach out to us at Vision Specialists of Michigan. Our team of experienced eye care professionals can provide a thorough evaluation, diagnose any underlying issues, and recommend personalized treatment options to improve your vision and overall quality of life. Remember, early intervention and proper vision care are essential for maintaining healthy eyes and optimal visual function. Don't delay seeking help if you have concerns about your vision or experience sudden changes in your eyesight. We're here to support you on your journey to clear, comfortable vision. Contact us today.

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It may be your eyes

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  • American Academy Optometry
  • American Optometric Association
  • Michigan Optometric Association
  • VEDA
  • Neuro Optometry Rehabilitation Association