At Vision for Life, nearly 80 percent of the patients we treat have strabismus. Strabismus is a vision condition in which the eyes do not properly align with another, and they fail to work together as a team. When an individual has strabismus, his or her eyes often wander or turn in different directions. Not only does this condition affect an individual’s outward appearance, but it also affect’s his or her vision, causing poor depth perception and frequent eye strain. What causes strabismus? It occurs due to a faulty electrical signal from the brain to the extra-ocular muscles of the eyes and may also even be hereditary.
While strabismus can affect one’s appearance and vision, most people do not even know that they have it. It is not alwayseasy to detect with the naked eye, nor will a basic school eye exam detect it. At Vision for Life, we offer a series of vision tests to accurately diagnose strabismus. If your child is experiencing the following symptoms, you should schedule a vision evaluation with us promptly:
- Constant headaches or migraines
- Squinting his or her eyes, and tilting his or head in order to see better
- Eyestrain and fatigue
- Poor depth perception
- Motion sickness
- Double vision
- Poor motor and sports skills
- Clumsiness, accident-prone
- Trouble focusing, especially when he or she is tired
- Having difficulty reading
- Differing prescription strengths for each eye
Now that you understand the cause and symptoms of strabismus, it is important that you know that your child should not undergo surgery for treatment. Ophthalmologists frequently recommend surgery as the best option for treating strabismus; however, as a developmental optometrist, I respectfully disagree. Surgery is not your child’s only option for treatment; in fact, surgery is merely a cosmetic fix. It will not improve your child’s long-term vision. At Vision for Life, our custom vision therapy program will not only straighten your child’s eyes, but will also improve his or her vision.
The brain is the neurological control center for our eye muscles, which means that nothing is seen without the eyes first sending an image to the brain. Then, the brain sends that message back to the eyes, so that we can comprehend what we are seeing. The connection between the eyes and brain is vital, and surgery can sever those neurological pathways. After surgery, the eyes may appear straightened, but this does not at all mean that the brain and eyes are communicating properly. Our vision therapy program teaches your child’s brain and eyes to work together as a team. We utilize multiple age-appropriate activities that realign the eyes and the brain for a lasting cure.
If you believe that your child has strabismus, we urge you to call us now to schedule a complete vision evaluation. Please do not seek surgery for your child. Instead, choose a lasting solution, and utilize our vision therapy programs suitable for every age. Our activities and interactive games allow your child to improve his or her vision, and have fun while doing it! For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 618-288-1489. If you would like to learn more about the truth of strabismus surgery and why your child should not receive surgery to correct his or her strabismus, please watch my video.