There’s a saying that two heads are better than one, but that may not be true if you are seeing double. You could be experiencing double vision. If you’re in perimenopause or menopause, you may be wondering, "Is this normal?" Vision issues are common once your hormones begin to fluctuate, and double vision is one of the possibilities. Let’s explore this symptom.
What is double vision?
Is that one hummingbird on the feeder or two? If you have double vision (diplopia), a single object will appear as two. Double vision is usually a temporary condition, and it may simply mean it’s time for a new pair of glasses. However, it may also indicate various other situations or health problems.
Double vision is most common among people older than 60 and is extremely common. It is one of the most common reasons individuals go to an emergency room, and more than 800,000 people a year see their doctor because of diplopia.
Double vision can affect one or both eyes. The former is more common and less serious. When it affects both eyes, it can mean that your eyes are out of alignment or there is an underlying medical condition.
About 90 percent of double vision cases resolve themselves and don’t have any lingering or long-term impacts on health. However, because diplopia can interfere with your depth perception, walking, driving, reading, and other daily activities may be challenging.
How is double vision associated with menopause?
Changing hormone levels in perimenopause and menopause can result in noticeable but temporary effects on vision. Because these hormones can impact how light enters and travels through your eyes, you may experience blurriness or double vision. Eye problems such as cataracts may develop during these times, and double vision is one sign of cataracts. In fact, cataracts are the most common lens problem that can cause double vision.
How to manage double vision naturally
Fortunately, double vision and other vision issues associated with perimenopause and menopause tend to resolve themselves once your hormones regain balance. In the meantime, some lifestyle habits can be supportive of eye health.
- Don’t smoke and avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Try eye exercises. Some exercises can strengthen the muscles in your eyes. For example: Look up as high as you can, then slowly rotate your eyes clockwise entirely around the edges of your field of vision. Repeat by rotating your eyes counterclockwise. Practice this exercise up to 10 times and several times a day.
- Lower your pressure. If you have high blood pressure, keep it under control, as high pressure in the eyes can contribute to vision problems.
- Consider supplements that can support eye health, such as alpha-lipoic acid, bilberry, vitamin E, eyebright, vitamin A, glutathione, and the antioxidant combination of lutein, zeaxanthin, rutin, and quercetin.
- Include foods rich in vitamin A/beta-carotene in your diet, such as cantaloupe, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, and tomatoes.
A doctor may help manage double vision by using an eye patch or an occlusive lens in your glasses to help minimize the issue.
When to call your doctor
If double vision has occurred suddenly, is affecting your ability to perform daily activities, is causing pain, or is accompanied by other symptoms such as headache, dizziness, slurred speech, or nausea, contact your doctor or optometrist as soon as possible or go to an emergency room.
Double vision is not uncommon in perimenopause and menopause and typically a temporary symptom. If for any reason you are concerned about your experience with double vision, contact your doctor as soon as possible.