Strabismus

Strabismus is the condition in which a person is unable to align both eyes simultaneously under normal visual circumstances.  When both eyes do not accurately point toward an object at the same time, it results in the appearance of one eye “turning” in relation to the other.  This turning may be in, out, up, down or in any combination.  This eye turning may be constant, in which an eye turns all the time, or it may be intermittent.  It may also alternate so that either eye turns at any given time.  Besides the obvious eye turn, the individual with strabismus will experience loss of stereopsis (depth perception), and may develop double vision or reduced vision in one eye (amblyopia).

There are many different causes of strabismus.  The specific treatment is dependent on the underlying cause.  Strabismus can be treated at any age.  Some factors favor younger patients while compliance and motivation are more advantageous with adults.  Treatment typically consists of prescription lenses, prisms and a program of vision therapy.  In certain patients, surgery may be recommended in conjunction with vision therapy.  Surgery may cosmetically straighten the eyes, but does not typically improve visual function.  The prognosis for optimal outcome in these cases is enhanced through pre- and post-surgical vision therapy.  Whether it is constant or intermittent, strabismus always requires treatment.  It rarely goes away by itself nor do children outgrow it.