What is Strabismus?
Strabismus refers to an eye that turns inward or outward reducing or eliminating the ability to see a single image with both eyes. Strabismus can be genetic, develop secondary to a systemic condition or compressive lesions, or develop as a result of muscular decompensation later in life. Those who are born with strabismus generally aren’t effected by double vision because their brain learns from an early age to “turn off” the second image seen by the turned eye. If developed later in life, it can cause a variety of problems.
What are the Signs/Symptoms?
- Constant or Intermittent eye turn
- Double Vision: may be side by side, up and down or diagonal; disappears when one eye is covered
- Trouble Focusing
- Inability to see 3D images
Who is at Risk/What are the Causes?
- Children with an uncorrected glasses prescription
- Complications from Diabetes
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (Stroke)
- Age Related Decompensation
- Muscle Entrapment: often from injury to the eye
- Thyroid Eye Disease
- Compressive Lesion
How is Strabismus Treated?
In many cases, strabismus in children is a result of an uncorrected glasses prescription. A dilated (cycloplegic) exam is often performed to determine if this is the cause. If the eye turn persists, there are multiple interventions to consider to restore binocular vision.
Vision therapy is very effective in managing strabismus. This is often the first course of action after prescribing glasses to help “train” the eye muscles how to work together. Vision therapy is specific to each individual patient based on the severity, cause, and type of strabismus.
In severe cases where the extent of an eye turn exceeds what can be corrected through glasses or vision therapy, surgery may be the best route to obtain the best visual outcome. It is often recommended to do Vision Therapy following surgical correction in order to strengthen the eye muscles so that they maintain alignment.
**Request a Binocular Evaluation with Dr. Lexie or Dr. Paul Ives today if you are worried about new onset double vision or notice an eye turn!