Understanding Strabismus and Your Treatment Options

If you have strabismus, your eyes don’t align properly. It’s sometimes referred to as being cross-eyed, though there are different types of strabismus, including: 

Strabismus is often thought of as a childhood condition, but adults can develop it as well, for a variety of reasons. 

What happens when you have strabismus? 

Each of your eyes has six muscles attached that control how your eye moves. All six of those muscles need to be working together in harmony in order for you to focus on a single target.

When you focus on an image, your eyes each transmit an image to your brain, and your brain then combines those images into one 3D image. This is how you have depth-perception and can see three dimensions.

If your eyes don’t focus on the same target together, your brain gets two different images. In children, the brain simply focuses on the better image. Eventually, a child with strabismus may lose depth perception.

If you’re an adult and you develop strabismus, your brain can’t start ignoring one of the images, and so you’ll likely have double vision, which can severely limit your ability to function. 

Causes of strabismus

Some people are born with strabismus. There are certain conditions that make it more likely a child will develop strabismus, such as cerebral palsy or Down syndrome. 

In adults, strabismus can re-develop — if you had the condition as a child, it can come back when you’re an adult. Injury to your eye can cause strabismus, and it can be the result of diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, or thyroid disease, among other conditions. 


In large part, the treatment that will work best for strabismus depends on the cause. For example, if your strabismus is a recurrence, the treatment won’t be the same as if it developed as a result of a thyroid disorder.

Similarly, childhood strabismus calls for different types of treatments than adult strabismus. In children, glasses may be the best treatment options. Your provider at Cooper Eye Care may also suggest placing a patch over the stronger eye as a method of treating strabismus. 

For adults, treatment may include prisms in your eyeglasses or placing a film over one lens. For both children and adults, surgery may be the best treatment option for strabismus. 

The most important thing when it comes to treatment is that your treatment is tailored to suit you, and meets your needs. At Cooper Eye Care, we provide individualized treatment, and your treatment plan is designed specifically for you. We account for your medical history, your goals, and your lifestyle.

If you have additional questions about strabismus treatment for yourself or your child, book an appointment at Cooper Eye Care. You can use our easy online booking tool, or simply give us a call at the location most convenient for you during regular business hours. 

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