Anyone who has had one too many drinks and starts seeing double, will know that it is probably the point where you need to call time on the evening, but if you are experiencing that double-vision while sober, it is time to get it checked out.
If you need some treatment on your eyes, the NHS and laser eye surgery can go hand in hand, but first of all you will need to get to the root of the problem you are experiencing, such as seeing double.
Are you suffering from diplopia?
The medical term attached to double vision is diplopia, which is basically when you experience seeing two images of a single object.
How you are affected by this double vision can vary. You might see two images so that they appear to be on top of each other, or they could appear side by side and even appear as mixture of the two.
Whichever way you are affected by double vision, it is disconcerting and can be an uncomfortable scenario. It can be a permanent or temporary affliction, or it might only occur when you are looking in a particular direction.
Monocular or binocular?
The cause of your double vision is dependent on whether your double vision is being experienced in one eye or both eyes.
If you have monocular double vision, this will mean that only one eye is affected, whereas double vision in both eyes is referred to as binocular double vision. The treatment that you receive will normally be dictated by whether your double vision is monocular or binocular.
The problem with double vision in children
Adults are going to be able to describe their symptoms to an eye doctor and explain exactly what they are seeing and experiencing, but younger children with double vision may not be able to explain what is troubling them.
If you have a child who is suffering from double vision, you might notice that they are frequently narrowing their eyes or squinting in an effort to be able to see better. You might also notice that they are turning or tilting their head in an unusual way, which is a physical reaction induced by an effort to try and correct or avoid their double vision.
Double vision in your child or a problem with your own eyesight, is not something that should be ignored, and you should seek a medical opinion on the issue as soon as possible.
The reason for this is not just because your vision is being impaired by the problem, but in some cases, it could also be a symptom of a serious medical condition. An ophthalmologist at your nearest hospital or an optician should be able to give you an accurate diagnosis and provide some recommendations.
The cause of the problem could be anything from a refractive error, corneal disease and retinal abnormalities to a number of other potential causes.
You can joke about double vision caused by one too many drinks, but if that is not the reason, it is something that needs to be investigated.
Hannah Fox is at medical school and is working her way towards becoming an ophthalmologist doctor. She shares her knowledge online by writing articles and participating in online discussions when she has the time.