Ever Heard of Strabismus?

Posted in Optometry Information

Strabismus is a condition of vision in which both eyes of an individual are not aligned properly. Strabismus is otherwise known as a squint, crossed eye, herertropia, deviating eye, or wandering eyes. Don’t be confused – this condition is different than the condition known as a lazy eye or amblyopia.
In strabismus, when the person focuses his/her eyes on a certain object, one of the eyes is not in alignment with the other. This happens since this person’s eyes cannot both focus at the same point, at same time and at same direction. The condition develops as a result of having one of your eyes turns out, up, down or inside, in comparison with the natural position of the other eye. This condition occurs due to poor control of the eye muscles or increased level of farsightedness.

The movement of each eye is controlled by six muscles. Brain signals are received by these muscles and under normal conditions, the eyes work together so that both of them point at a certain direction at the same time. Proper alignment of the eyes is necessary to avoid double vision and for the prevention of poor vision. The brain of a person who suffers from strabismus receives two signals of one object and perceives them as two dissimilar images. During the course of time, the brain adjusts itself and starts ignoring images from the turned eye. If the turning of the eye is regular and the condition is not reversed, it may lead to permanent vision reduction in the problematic eye.

Different types of strabismus are classified based on the eyes’ misalignment of direction. The major kinds are hypotropia, hypertropia, exotropia and esotropia. Hypotropia is a condition in which one of the eyes has downward deviation. Hypertropia is a disorder in which the visual axis of one eye or both of the eyes is in upward direction. Esotropia is a disorder in which both of the eyes turn inside causing crossed eyes. Exotropia is a condition in which one eye will be turning in an outward direction.

Strabismus can be diagnosed in babies. Treatment of strabismus should be performed early on, during the first six to nine months of a newborn’s life as it is tougher to treat successfully at a later age. Some of the risk factors that cause the development of strabismus are family history, refractive errors and medical conditions such as cerebral palsy and Down syndrome. Strabismus can be diagnosed only by eye examination and evaluation of the individual’s medial history, visual capability, refraction, alignment, focusing ability and overall eye health.
Strabismus can be treated using vision therapy, eyepatches, glasses, contact lenses, prism lenses, and eye muscle surgery. The doctors at Horizon Eye Specialists and Lasik Center will diagnose the type of strabismus you are affected with. As part of the optometric services we provide at out Phoenix, Scottsdale, Peoria and Goodyear offices, we will diagnose your exact condition and suggest the most suitable and effective method to treat it.

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