Strabismus and its Treatment

Strabismus is a misalignment of the eyes. Some patients are born with it. Others develop it later in life. Sometimes it runs in the family. Sometimes there is an underlying condition causing it.

When the eyes are turned in (crossed eyes), it is known as an esotropia.

When the eyes are turned out, it is known as an exotropia.

Less often, the eye can turned up or down (hypertropia and hypotropia). There can be a combination of the above. 

A strabismus can cause decreased vision, and when detected early in a child, patching of the unaffected eye may be required to ensure visual development proceeds in the affected eye. In adults, a strabismus can cause double vision,  whilst some perceive this as just blurring.

The misalignment can be present intermittently, and can be more noticeable when the patient is tired. Some strabismus can be stable, others get worse over times

Treatment can involve eye patching, eye glasses and/or eye muscle surgery. Surgery may be required to improve the alignment of the eyes. This involves release or shortening of the affected external eye muscle and reattaching the muscles on one or both eyes. Glasses may still be required after surgery. Multiple surgeries may be required over the course of the patient's life.