Strabismus Causes and Treatment

man with lazy eye

In order for your eyes to focus normally, six muscles around each eye must work together. When your two eyes see different images, your brain tends to favor the stronger eye. This means the weak eye gets weaker, resulting in amblyopia, or “lazy eye.”

Risk factors for developing strabismus may include farsightedness and a family history of the disorder. Both adults and children suffer from strabismus, but the causes are different. For adults, causes include:

  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Botulism
  • Graves’ disease
  • Shellfish poisoning
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • Cranial nerve palsies
  • Tumors
  • Eye injuries
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Vision loss

Treatment

Treatment for strabismus involves a few steps. First, your eye doctor will determine whether you need glasses. Then, he or she will treat your amblyopia. This typically involves wearing a patch over the stronger eye, forcing the weak eye to work harder. This can be frustrating and tiring, but is an important step.

Next, you might need surgery to help the eye muscles work together correctly. This surgery can be done at any age. Eye alignment surgery is generally performed as an outpatient procedure, often with local or regional anesthetic. However, in some cases, it might require hospitalization. Most people can return to their regular activities within a few days. Your doctor might restrict swimming and heavy lifting for several weeks.

The reasons to have eye alignment surgery go way beyond cosmetic benefits. Eye misalignment can cause disabling and dangerous double vision. Since people with strabismus are often self-conscious about this condition, getting alignment surgery may improve your circumstances emotionally, socially and even economically.

What to Expect After Treatment

Any type of surgery bears risks, including infection, bleeding and anesthetic complications. The most common risks for strabismus surgery are double vision and residual misalignment. In rare cases, patients may suffer retinal detachment or decreased vision. However, most patients experience a significant improvement in eye alignment after surgery. They may feel pain and a pulling sensation around the eyes for a few days. Usually over-the-counter pain relievers can address this level of discomfort.

If you suffer from strabismus and would like to discuss your treatment options, call our clinic today.

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Testimonials

Reviews From Our Satisfied Patients

  • "Dr. Michael Houseman took great care of my 92-year-old father, who can't hear very well at all, and who gets confused easily. He was very patient and kind, and spent extra time giving him the best prescription possible. When we went to get glasses, they were able to cut the lenses in house, very affordably."
    Mark Berg
  • "Great service! Dr Gertsberger is wonderful. He takes care of my whole family and we have all been pleased with our eye care."
    SylnJoey R. Garden City, KS
  • "AMAZING customer service! The doctor and staff were incredible to work with and really care about their patients. They explained everything and were extremely helpful!"
    Samantha Roecker
  • "Great Drs. and friendly staff."
    Cheryl Messenger
  • "What fan can I say? If you need prompt, professional eye care, Garden City Optometrists is where you need to go for the best eye care in Southwest Kansas...they'll keep an eye out for you. (:-) Art Gomez, Scott City, Kansas"
    Art Gomez
  • "This place has been in operation for more than 100 years, so they must be doing something right. That "something" is prompt, professional service. I've never had to wait long for an appointment or to be seen once I arrive at the office. The staff knows what they're doing, and I've never walked away unhappy."
    Ashley F
  • "I was shopping for my third set of glasses from Garden City Optometrists. The entire staff got in on the experience, showing me frames that they thought would work well for me. We didn't find exactly what I was looking for, so they ordered some more examples. I've had nothing but great experiences with all of the doctors and staff here. See you guys in a few days for my new frames!"
    Sean Collins