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Strabismus – What Is That and What Should I Do If I Have It?

imagesStrabismus – eyes crossed, wandering or turned different directions – may or may not be physically noticeable, but either way, it affects vision negatively. Eyes evenly aligned send two separate but equal views of the same object to the brain, combining to form a clear visual picture. Misaligned eyes send two separate angles of the object to the brain, creating a third image, usually blurry and difficult to see.

Strabismus can be inherited or caused by trauma or disease. Doctors often recommend surgery to realign the eyes, but this does not help vision. Instead, it deters it by altering the eye-brain connection, causing the patient to work harder to see properly.

Many people with strabismus avoid reading due to the stress of trying to see words clearly. Troublesome symptoms may worsen when they are tired or ill, or while playing video games, working on a computer, doing homework or reading a book. They include:

  • Eyestrain, fatigue and headaches
  • Frequently losing place while reading
  • Focusing inability
  • Motion sickness
  • Poor depth perception
  • Double vision

The result is often suppression of one eye to force one clear picture, thereby weakening both eyes. Fortunately, vision therapy is an excellent option to improve vision and reduce the discomfort of strabismus. Confirm the diagnosis with a developmental vision evaluation by a developmental optometrist. The doctor will then prescribe exercises to train the eyes to work together as a team with the brain. Children and adults can be helped. Call us for information!