Strabismus Treatment in Traverse City MI
Strabismus is a vision problem that results in the eyes facing different directions. One eye may look forward while the other looks to the side, down, or upwards. The affected eye can fluctuate and the misalignment may not be consistent. This means that the eyes can shift direction at different times of the day without apparent reason.
This condition is most common in children. In fact, it affects 4% of children in the United States.
Are there different types of strabismus?
There are two common types of strabismus.
In this presentation, the eye is turned inwards. This is most common in infants.
This presentation is when the eye faces outwards.
Strabismus does not have to be consistent. Some children experience it once a day or the direction of their eyes can change on the same day.
What causes strabismus?
This condition is caused by a muscle alignment issue. Eyes with normal vision face forward because all six muscles in the eye are working together to direct the eye that way.
When strabismus occurs, the child receives two different images in their brain. One comes from the normal eye and the other comes from the eye facing a different direction. Over time, the child does learn to pay attention to the picture presented by the eye facing forward, but even still this affects their depth perception.
Sometimes this condition appears during adulthood. With those presentations, the adult has double vision because their brain already learned to process images from both eyes at the same time. This poses additional problems.
Conditions that can cause strabismus
Strabismus is most often presented in children who have a disorder that impacts their brain.
Common disorders that affect the brain and occur with strabismus are:
- Brain tumors
- Down syndrome
- Cerebral palsy
In adults, an eye injury or cataracts are the most common causes of the condition.
What are the treatments for strabismus?
As with most disorders, there are more treatment options available for young children whose vision hasn’t fully developed yet than there are for adults.
Nonsurgical treatment for children ranges from eye exercises to patching the stronger eye to allow the affected eye to strengthen, or even glasses that help to both strengthen and realign the eyes.
If necessary, surgery that can usually correct the issue. It involves repositioning the muscle in one or both eyes to correct the alignment of the eye. After that, there may be a need for a child to wear glasses and continue exercises to strengthen the eye on its own.
The surgery can be performed on both children and adults. This surgery typically only needs to occur once, but sometimes patients do need follow-up surgery.
Either way, there is a very short recovery time and minimal side effects other than redness and soreness of the eye.
As with any other surgery, there are risks but the surgery is very common. Treatment of this condition allows the affected person to regain their vision.
Overall, this surgery, when treated by a trusted physician, is a safe option.