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Most People Don’t Even Know They Have Strabismus


strabismusAt Vision for Life, nearly 80 percent of the patients we treat have strabismus. Strabismus is a condition in which the two eyes fail to properly align and work together as a team. It occurs when there is a faulty electrical signal from the brain to the extra-ocular muscles of the eye. While this condition can cause multiple problems with one’s vision, most people do not even know that they have strabismus. A lot of cases are not easy to detect with the naked eye, and a basic school eye exam will not identify it. This is why we encourage parents to schedule a vision evaluation for their child if he or she is experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • When focusing on an object, one of their eyes appears to be misaligned inward (cross-eyed), outward (wall-eyed), upward or downward.
  • They have constant headaches or migraines.
  • They often have to squint or tilt their head to read or view something.
  • They experience double vision or motion sickness while reading.
  • They have to strain their eyes while reading or doing near work, and they are often fatigued after.
  • They have poor hand-eye coordination, as well as poor motor and sports skills.
  • They cannot remain focused or stay still in class or while doing homework.
  • They avoid reading and struggle when they do have to read.

These symptoms can often mimic ones of a learning disability, which leads teachers and parents to believe that the child has ADHD or another disorder. When in reality, the child is suffering from strabismus, which can be treated successfully at Vision for Life. A major misconception among doctors and parents is that surgery is the best option to treating strabismus. However, this is NOT true. Surgery is simply a cosmetic fix that will not improve the child’s long-term vision into adulthood. At Vision for Life, our vision therapy program will not only straighten the child’s eyes, but it will also improve his or her vision for the long term.

Our vision therapy program consists of personalized, age-appropriate exercises and activities that teach the brain and eyes to work together cohesively. When a child undergoes surgery to “fix” their strabismus, the neurological pathways between the brain and eyes are often severed. While the eyes may appear straightened after surgery, the brain and eyes will still not be communicating properly. This means that the child will still experience problems with his or her vision. With our therapy approach, we properly train the brain and eyes, which results in a lasting functional cure or improvement.

At Vision for Life, our goal is to raise awareness about strabismus, so that people will no longer live their daily lives struggling to see and read properly. It is important that parents are aware of this vision problem and its symptoms, so that children are no longer misdiagnosed as having a learning disability or other issue. If you believe you or your child may have strabismus, call us today to schedule a complete vision evaluation.

As we begin this new year, happiness and health should be a priority. If you think you or a loved one may be suffering from strabismus, we can help. Call us at (618) 288-1489 or learn more by visiting our website at Our in-office vision therapy has helped both adults and children thrive in work, school and play.