Strabismus (crossed eyes or wandering eyes) refers to eyes that are out of alignment. The eyes may be converged (crossed), diverged (outwardly deviated), vertically misaligned (one eye higher than the other), or torsionally misaligned (one or both eyes rotated inwardly or outwardly).
There are four types of severe misalignment:
Eyes are controlled by muscles, which are in turn controlled by the brain. For the eyes to be appropriately aligned and to focus straight on a single object, the muscles must be balanced and work together at the same strength level. Misalignment occurs when one or more of the muscles are weaker than the others. Eye misalignment, or strabismus, can be associated with medical conditions affecting the brain, such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and hydrocephalus. Vision loss caused by eye injuries, cataracts, or stroke may also result in strabismus. However, most children with strabismus do not have an associated medical condition. Strabismus has a genetic component and can affect multiple members of the same family.
The most obvious sign of misaligned eyes is when the eyes appear to be pointed in different directions. However, the following signs may be indicative of strabismus:
Strabismus treatment options range from observation – through optical, prismatic, certain medical, and occasional exercise therapies – to eye surgery. In order to improve vision, the weakened muscles in the affected eye or eyes must be put to work. Several treatments may be used alone or in combination, depending on the type, severity, and cause of strabismus, including:
Strabismus surgery is an outpatient surgery done under general anesthesia.
There are two common methods to alter extraocular muscles.
At the Marietta Eye Clinic, we are proud to bring you the experience of fellowship-trained strabismus specialists who can diagnose and treat a multitude of eye misalignment disorders. If you have been told that you might need eye muscle surgery, research this process thoroughly and examine your options. For more detailed information regarding this eye surgery procedure, how to choose your doctor, risks of surgery, and what to expect after surgery, contact us at (770) 427-8111 to speak to a strabismus specialist.
When it comes to your eyes, nothing beats a face-to-face consultation with one of our eye doctors. Request an appointment to meet with one of our specialists.
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