Strabismus is a disorder where both eyes fail to work with one another as a team.
In an attempt to know the above-said strabismus meaning more accurately, you may come up with questions such as,
How does this problem occur? It happens suddenly or over time? Does it always affect the same eye or both eyes? Does it constantly exist or only part of the time?
To find the answers, you need to learn about the causes, symptoms of strabismus healing methods required to deal with this difficulty in living a better life.
Let’s begin with knowing the general meaning of strabismus.
What Is Strabismus?
Under normal circumstances, your six eye muscles control the two eyes to work together. They guide both eyes to look in the same direction.
But, strabismus eye patients face difficulties in controlling eye movement and cannot maintain typically ocular eye position.
So, the basic Strabismus definition is the situation in which the eyes do not align with one another. In other words, the eyes do not look at the same entity at the same time.
What Are The Types Of Strabismus?
The most common type of strabismus is crossed eyes. Yet, strabismus types get classified by the location of the misaligned eye, which could be as follows:
- Inward turned eye (Esotropia)
- Outward turned eye (Exotropia)
- Upward turned eye (Hypertropia)
- Downward turned eye (Hypotropia)
Out of these, the most common are:
- Inward Turned Eye or Esotropia:
This uncorrected farsightedness and a genetic tendency depend on the family history of a person. In this disease, the person requires to make an extra effort to see distant objects. And that may cause the eyes to turn inward.
- Dual vision
- Covering or closing one eye when looking at something near
- Tilting or turning the head to look clearly
This kind of strabismus commonly begins in the initial years of life. This disorder gets treated with glasses. But, sometimes it requires surgery or eye patching on one eye muscle or both.
- Outward Turned Eye or Exotropia:
In this strabismus of the eye, one eye will fixate on the target while the other points outward.
- Twofold vision
- Difficulty in reading
- Closing one eye when looking at far-away objects or in bright light
This condition can occur at any age. Its medication may include glasses, eye exercise, and surgery on one eye muscle or both.
Infantile Esotropia or Strabismus In Babies
Another condition is infantile esotropia. It occurs when the inward turning of both eyes starts before six months of age. And eyeglasses do not rectify the intersection.
In a strabismus baby, the turning may begin on an occasional basis but soon becomes continual. You can notice its occurrence when the infant finds difficulty in looking far away or close. The treatment includes alignment surgery on the muscle of one or both eyes.
Strabismus In Adults
Adults may also experience strabismus or ocular misalignment due to stroke.
But it may also happen from physical injury or from untreated childhood strabismus that has evolved again. Its treatment involves prism glasses, patching, and strabismus eye surgery.
What Causes Strabismus?
Strabismus often occurs from an irregularity of the neuromuscular control of the eye. About thirty percent of children possess strabismus from a family member. So, if you are thinking about is strabismus hereditary? The answer is yes, it is.
The other conditions associated with this condition include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Down Syndrome
- Hydrocephalus (a genetic disease that affects the development of fluid in the brain)
Strabismus And Amblyopia
Strabismus usually arises by the time a child is three years old. At this age, when strabismus does not get effectively treated, the eye that the brain ignores soon will lose the ability to see well. This vision loss develops a problem called amblyopia. Another name for this disease is ‘Lazy Eye.’
Medication for amblyopia involves the child wearing a strabismus eye patch for several hours for weeks to months. The other treatment is eye drops that provide temporary blurry vision. The child gets a dab of the drug Atropine every day in the stronger eye.
Furthermore, sometimes opticians recommend wearing glasses or surgery to treat the underlying cause.
How Do Opticians Diagnose Strabismus?
People who are older than four months of age require to go through a comprehensive eye examination for proper diagnosis of the disease, which may comprise the following:
- Patient History
To determine the general health problems, medications used by family members.
- Visual Acuity
Test of reading words from an eye chart or evaluating the visual behavior of children.
Check up on eyes with corrective lenses to assess how they focus light.
- Alignment and Focus Exam
These tests involve determining the health of internal eye systems.
Can Strabismus Be Corrected?
For strabismus correction, healing options include the following therapies:
- Wearing Eyeglasses Or Contact Lenses
Opticians use contact lenses or glasses with patients having refractive errors. With them, the eyes will require less pointing effort and stay consecutive.
- Prism Lenses
Prism lenses can bend light and restrict it from entering the eye. These further reduce the number of turns of the eyes required to look at objects.
- Orthoptics or Eye Exercises
These eye exercises work on some of the kinds of strabismus, especially Exotropia.
Opticians also give you eye drops or ointments. Furthermore, some doctors suggest taking injections of chemicals like in Botox (botulinum toxin type A) to reduce the strength of an overactive eye muscle.
Such treatment for strabismus gets utilized with surgery, relying on the condition of the patients.
- Strabismus Eye Patch
Eye doctors can give strabismus eye patches to patients to improve their vision and control eye misalignment.
- Eye Muscle Surgery
Surgery improves the eye muscles’ position so that the eyes align correctly. This surgery gets conducted by giving anesthesia along with dissolvable stitches to the eyes.
Sometimes adults also take adjustable surgery for strabismus to boost eye muscle positions post-surgery.
Let’s read about strabismus treatment by surgery in detail in the next section.
Is Strabismus Surgery Worth It?
Strabismus surgery is one of the popular methods for this eye disease. For adults, ophthalmologists perform the surgery by using local anesthesia. Then, they give some dissolvable stitches in the required area to manipulate eye muscles either by loosening or tightening. These stitches help in expanding the eye’s alignment, vision, and depth perception.
However, for children, ophthalmologists first assess the severity of the condition and discern if surgery on both eyes is essential. After that, they proceed with the further procedure.
The duration of Strabismus surgery varies from individuals, relying on several factors. It takes thirty minutes to two hours.
Sometimes, due to anesthesia, nausea may also occur. So, there will be a need to wait for the eye doctor to perform a post-operative checkup before leaving the eye care center.
Benefits of Strabismus Surgery
Its benefits may differ from individual to individual. Proper alignment of eyes may destroy a range of strabismus symptoms such as double vision, eye fatigue and rebuild the natural connections between the eyes and other facial layouts.
Limitations of Strabismus Surgery
Due to the several procedural complications, this surgery solves only a fraction of a complicated problem. That means some difficulties are not amenable. Yet, your optician will explain the application of these generalizations to your situation.
How Much Strabismus Surgery Cost?
Strabismus surgery cost varies from one healthcare clinic to another. The total expenses include the following:
- Surgeon and assistant fees
- Anesthesiologist fees
- Equipment and service charges, which include anesthesia and supplies.
To reimburse these costs, most insurance companies provide surgical procedure cover to their clients.
Routine eye tests are an adequate strategy to recognize strabismus.
Timely diagnosis and medication can boost your child’s chances of possessing straight eyes and formulating an affirmative vision along with depth awareness. Not only children but adolescents and adults can also benefit from medicine, strabismus tests, and therapies to a great extent.
Still, have more questions? Comment down below to get them answered.