Strabismus is an eye condition in which a person cannot align both eyes together under normal conditions. Due to the misalignment of the two eyes, children with strabismus may initially have double vision. Eventually, to avoid double vision, the brain may eventually disregard the image of one eye (called suppression). The eye turn can be constant (when the eye turns all of the time) or intermittent (when the eye turns some of the time). There are three common types of strabismus:
Esotropia (when the misaligned eye turns inward)
Exotropia (when the misaligned eye turns outward)
Hyper/Hypotropia(when the misaligned eye turns up or down respectively)
What are the Symptoms for Strabismus?
Eyes that appear turned in/out/up/down.
Eyes that do not align in the same direction
Uncoordinated eye movements
Vision only in one eye with loss of depth perception
What is the cause for Strabismus?
Most commonly, a tendency to have strabismus is inherited in the family. Eyes tend to turn in due to a lack of coordination between the eyes, causing the eyes to point in different directions. Therefore, rendering the eyes unable to focus simultaneously on a single point.
Most cases of strabismus in children are of unknown cause. Congenital strabismus is a condition affecting more than half the children at or shortly after birth. Strabismus in children is frequently associated with amblyopia, or lazy eye. Esotropia in children is also associated with farsightedness.
What is the Treatment for Strabismus?
The results of treatment depend on how quickly treatment is begun. Treatment may include patching the eye that is always straight to improve the vision of the turned eye. Glasses may be used, especially for eyes that are out of focus as they can also aid in straightening the eyes. Vision Training, or eye exercises, may also be prescribed in certain cases. Surgery on the eye muscles may also be a for of treatment.
The results of treatment are generally successful. However, if treatment is delayed, the restoration of vision may not be possible. Do not hesitate to seek advice from your eye care professional if your child has strabismus.
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