Strabismus (crossed eyes) is when your eyes do not line up correctly and point in different directions. One may look ahead while the other will move up, down or to the side. This condition is most common in people who have poor eye muscle control or extreme farsightedness.
People with strabismus may experience eye turning all the time or only when they are tired or sick. Because proper eye alignment is important for depth perception and proper vision, you’ll want to treat strabismus. But how treatable is this condition and what treatment options are available? Let’s find out.
What Causes Strabismus?
Crossed eyes can be caused by a number of problems with the eye muscles, the nerves or the brain. Normally, six muscles attach to each eye to control how it moves. But when one of these muscles is weak or receives mixed signals from the brain, strabismus can occur.
Strabismus is most common in infants and young children. Some people believe they will outgrow this condition, but they won’t. If your child’s eyes don’t line up correctly, schedule an appointment with an eye specialist.
Even though crossed eyes are not as common in adults, they can still happen. Here are some potential causes:
- Health problems like diabetes or thyroid disease
- Brain tumors or stroke
- Accidents or head injuries
- Damage to the eye muscles during surgery
- Significant refractive errors
Treatment Options for Crossed Eyes
Treatments for strabismus may include a wide range of therapies and lifestyle modifications depending on the age of the person and the severity of the condition. Treating strabismus early on is important because this condition can get worse over time.
Here are some possible treatment options your ophthalmologist may recommend to support healthy vision:
- Eyeglasses or contact lenses. For some people, this is all they need to correct crossed eyes.
- Prism lenses. Prism lenses are thicker on one side than the other and alter the light entering the eye. This reduces how much turning the eye has to do.
- Vision therapy. A vision therapy program can assist with eye coordination and eye focusing.
- Eye exercises. Practicing various eye exercises can strengthen the eye muscles and improve symptoms.
- Surgery. Eye muscle surgery can change the strength or position of the eye muscles around the eyes so they appear straight.
If you or your child has crossed eyes, schedule a comprehensive eye exam with Empire Retina Consultants or another eye specialist. The sooner you address this condition, the better for your vision!