What is strabismus?
Strabismus is an eye alignment problem. For a variety of reasons, one eye may turn inward, outward, upward or downward.
What causes strabismus?
In the first six years of life, eye coordination and their ability to work together develop. Weakness of one or more eye muscles may cause strabismus. Strabismus may be hereditary and may occur as a result of an uncorrected vision problem such as hyperopia or astigmatism.
Who is affected by strabismus?
Strabismus mostly affects children under the age of six, often between birth and 21 months of age. It is estimated that 5% of children are affected by strabismus. A rare occurrence in adults, strabismus usually occurs as a result of a stroke, tumor or other vascular disease.
Will strabismus in children disappear with age?
This is a common misconception. Strabismus will not disappear with age. In fact, the condition can worsen if not treated and may cause serious binocular vision problems.
What are the effects of strabismus?
A child affected by strabismus may initially see double as the eyes do not focus on the same object. To avoid double vision, the brain will eventually ignore the image from the turned eye. Over time, the neglected eye will be unable to function normally and will lead to permanently reduced vision in one eye. In turn causing amblyopia (lazy eye).
How is strabismus diagnosed?
Parents are often the first to notice a misalignment of the eyes. A comprehensive eye exam by an optometrist is recommended as of age three as certain slight misalignments are often unrecognized by the parents. An eye exam will be used to determine whether or not the child has strabismus.
How is strabismus treated?
Those with strabismus have several treatment options such as glasses (regular or bifocal), prism lenses, vision therapy and even surgery. Early detection and treatment will help achieve better results.