Diagnosis and Treatment of Strabismus (Lazy Eye)

By Jeffrey Schultz on January 08, 2014

Diagnosis and Treatment of Strabismus (Lazy Eye)There are many different kinds of health issues that affect the overall health of the eyes, some of them present at an early age. In these case of eye conditions present in babies and children, treating the issue as soon as possible is ideal, and gives children a chance at achieving great vision later in life. With that in mind, it's important that you bring your child in for regular doctor visits and eye examinations.

One vision issue that affects many children is known as strabismus. Let's take a look at some of the basics about this condition right now. When you visit with an optometrist, you can learn more about all of these matters in greater detail.

What is strabismus?

Colloquially known as lazy eye and crosseye, strabismus is a condition in which the left eye and right eye seem misaligned. The misalignment of the eyes is often more apparent when patients move their eyes vertically, horizontally, or at angles.

The most typical cause for strabimus is the inability for a person to control the muscles that move/synchronize the eyes. This muscle issue may be a physical problem or neurological one. It is estimated that about 4 percent of the population of the United States suffers from stabismus.

The Two Types of Strabismus

There are two kinds of strabismus, large-angle and small-angle.

  • Large-Angle Stabismus: In large-angle strabismus, it is readily apparent that the eyes are not properly aligned.
  • Small-Angle Strabismus:In small-angle strabismus, the eyes are only slightly misaligned, making the condition more difficult to detect.

Signs and Symptoms of Strabismus

The most common sign of strabismus is a peron's two eyes being out of sync. While this is apparent in large-angle strabismus, people who suffer from small-angle strabismus have different symptoms to consider, such as eyestrain, eye fatigue, and heachades. By meeting with an eye care specialist, you can have this condition properly identified and diagnosed.

How Strabismus Is Diagnosed

Strabisumus is diagnosed through a relatively routine eye exam, in which a vision specialist checks each eye for visual acuity and overall health and alignment. There are also diagnostic tests that can see into the interior structures of the eye, which helps determine if a patient is suffering from strabismus or if the misalignment is a symptom of another disorder.

It's also important to check on the medical history of the patient and consider the parents of the patient. Strabuismus can run in families, so it's important to consider the potential genetic factors involved with this condition.

Treatment for Strabismus

When it comes to treating strabismus, there are a few options to consider:

  • Corrective Lenses: If the misalignment of the eyes is the result of a refractive error, prescription glasses or contacts may be able to correct the issue.
  • Eye Patches: For young patients, sometimes they will be asked to wear an eye patch on the strong eye. This helps train the muscles of the weaker eye, which helps improve alignment.
  • Eye Medication: Similar in principle to the eye patch, patients may be prescribed eye medication that partially weakens the vision of the dominant eye, allowing the weaker eye to compensate and strengthen itself.
  • Strabismus Surgery: If a patient is not an ideal candidate for the less invasive treatments listed, sometimes surgical revision of the eye muscles is necessary to address this problem.

Learn More About Advanced Vision Correction

If you would like to learn more about the treatment of strabismus and other eye conditions, be sure to contact our eye care center serving Cleveland today. The entire team here looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve the best possible vision and eye health.

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