Strabismus: Symptoms And Treatment

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strabismus

Strabismus is the misalignment between two eyes. it is a failure of the two eyes to maintain proper alignment and produce consistent vision. This condition is also known as crossed eyes as it is the inability to look at one object with both eyes properly.  In strabismus, when one looks directly at the object one eye is misaligned and this misalignment can be of four types.

  • Esotropia (inward misalignment)
  • Exotropia (outward misalignment)
  • Hypertropia (upward misalignment)
  • Hyprotropia (downward misalignment)

This problem can be constant or intermittent, it can happen all the time or only when you are depressed, feeling anxiety or in other words sick. Some babies are born with it, which is called congenital strabismus. It may be caused by any problem with the eye muscles or any kind of eye disorder. This very condition leads to lazy eye, eye strains, headaches and as well as with double vision.

Strabismus Symptoms and Signs:

It is the visible misalignment of the eyes, when the one eye turns in, out, up, down or at an oblique angle. Esotropia and exotropia are the normal alignment disorders. When the misalignment is large and obvious the strabismus is called large-angle strabismus whereas the less obvious or small misalignment is known as small-angle misalignment.

Constant large angle strabismus does not cause eye strain and headaches but it leads to amblyopia where as small-angle strabismus is more likely to cause disruptive visual symptoms. It causes headaches, eyestrain, inability to read, fatigue while reading or unstable vision. In fact, constant small-angle strabismus leads to amblyopia.

Both large-angle and small-angle strabismus damage and affect the self-esteem because it interferes the normal eye contact with others which is quite embarrassing situation.

Newborns having this problem of intermittent crossed eyes soon recover as they grow but most types of strabismus do not disappear as a child grows, so they need proper medical treatment.

A complete checkup and thorough examination of a child’s eye is quite helpful because the early detection of strabismus ensures the successful treatment. Without treatment, a child may develop double vision, amblyopia or other visual disorders that affect reading and classroom learning.

What Causes Strabismus? 

Each eye has six external muscles (called the extra ocular muscles) that control eye position and movement. For normal binocular vision, the position, neurological control and functioning of these muscles for both eyes must be coordinated perfectly. And if they don’t coordinate eye turn or strabismus occurs.

Treatment options: 

You need to talk to a pediatric ophthalmologist, an eye specialist. He may suggest your child to wear eyeglasses or use the patch technique until his eyes are fully functional.  Such treatment should be started before your child turns eight years old. Otherwise, he may suffer from permanent vision loss.

  1. Surgery: 

In this treatment, the surgeon opens the eyeball’s outer layer to reach a muscle. This treatment strengthens the eye muscles. So, in most of the cases strabismus is considered to be the effective treatment for a constant eye turn. Any kind of double vision is removed through surgery to have improved eyesight.  Moreover, the success of strabismus surgery depends on direction and magnitude of the eye turn.

    2.  Eyeglasses or contact lenses: 

Usually accommodative esotropia is successfully treated with eyeglasses or contact lenses.

   3. Vision therapy: 

Vision therapies and eye exercise are quite useful ways to treat specific kind of exotropia, blurred vision and double vision.

Strabismus must be treated earlier in order to avoid any kind of complications. Leaving strabismus unnoticed may lead a number of vision problems.  Complete checkup and treatment ensure healthy vision and perfect alignment of the eyes. For further consultation, you can book an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam with our top ophthalmologists from Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad through oladoc.com. You can also call our helpline at 042-3250-0444  for assistance to find the right doctor for your health concerns.