Can Strabismus Be Corrected?

In the United States, some 3.5 million people have an eye alignment problem. If one or both of your eyes turns out, in, up, or down, you have a form of strabismus. Most often, strabismus becomes noticeable in children, but it can develop in adulthood as well. 

The experts at Cooper Eye Care are knowledgeable about a range of treatments for strabismus in both children and adults. It’s important to seek care for strabismus because it can lead to permanently poor eyesight in the turned eye without correction. 

The causes of strabismus

Each of your eyes has six muscles attached to it. Those muscles work to direct your eyes, and the signals from your brain usually keep them all working together. When you have strabismus, those muscles don’t work together as intended. 

Sometimes strabismus is caused by your genetic code. If people in your family have it, you’re more likely to as well. In other cases, a different problem, like farsightedness can cause strabismus. People who have underlying medical conditions, such as cerebral palsy, or who have had a stroke are more likely to develop strabismus. 

Correcting strabismus

The treatments for strabismus are similar whether you’re a child or an adult. Special glasses and certain eye exercises are usually the first step in correcting a turned eye. Surgery is another option that is usually successful, although some people do need an additional surgery later. 

When your doctor at Cooper Eye Care suggests a treatment approach to correct strabismus, they’ve taken several important factors into consideration, including any underlying causes of your issue, your age, your overall health, and other important elements that are likely to contribute to your outcome. 

Here are some of the common treatments for strabismus: 

Glasses or contact lenses

If you have a refractive error, such as farsightedness, correcting it with lenses could help with strabismus. With the refractive error corrected, your eyes don’t have to work as hard to focus, and so may remain straight. 

Prism lenses

This type of lens bends light as it enters your eye. This can help your eye focus on objects and reduce turning. 

Eye exercises

Special exercises for your eyes are called orthoptics, and sometimes doing them can help correct some types of strabismus. 

Medications

Some eye drops and ointments can help correct strabismus, and injections of botulinum toxin type A (Botox®) may be an appropriate treatment. In some cases, medications are used in combination with other treatments. 

Eye patching

One form of strabismus is amblyopia, or lazy eye. Using an eye patch can help strengthen the weak eye and also help correct misalignment. 

Surgery 

Surgical intervention can be used to change the position or length of the muscles that move your eye so that they work together properly. 

There are several risks of leaving strabismus untreated. For example, if there’s an underlying medical condition like a brain tumor, seeking treatment for strabismus may alert you to the condition. 

Other problems can be double or blurry vision, eye staring, fatigue, headaches, and poor 3-D vision. Regardless of your age, if your eyes are misaligned, seeking treatment is important.  

Schedule an appointment at Cooper Eye Care. We have two locations for your convenience, and we’re happy to answer your questions and suggest a course of treatment for you.

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