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What Is Strabismus?

Updated on November 30, 2016

Video about Strabismus or Lazy Eye

Even cats can get strabismus!

Even cats can get strabismus!
Even cats can get strabismus! | Source

What Is Strabismus (also known as Lazy Eye)?

Strabismus, or lazy eye, is a condition of the eye where the eye muscles are not strong enough to keep the eyes looking forward at the same time.

It could effect one eye or both eyes. The eye could turn either inward or outward. Strabismus normally makes its appearance while children are very small or if somebody had a head or eye injury.

When my son was a baby, I noticed that one of his eyes would turn outward. The Doctor told me that it was normal for babies to do have one or both eyes turn outward or inward, but if he is still doing it when he is one, to come back and see him.

When my son was one one year old, I brought him back to the Doctor because he still had the lazy eye. The Pediatrician sent me to a Pediatric Optometrist who specializes in Strabismus, also know as lazy eye.

My son's strabismus only occurred in one eye. His eye would turn outward when he was tired or really deep in thought. He is now five years old and still has a lazy eye.

Our Optometrist Visit For Strabismus

Our Optometrist told us that my son could either have surgery to fix the eye muscle and help to get rid of the strabismus or we could do a long, rigorous therapy with an Eye Therapist in the area.

The Optometrist said that since my sons one eye only turns outward when he is turned or deep in though and not all the time, he thinks we should try eye therapy first.

I was very happy to hear that since I don't want my 5 year old son to go through eye surgery when he doesn't have to.

Start eye exams early!

Start eye exams early!
Start eye exams early! | Source

Eye Therapy For Strabismus

We met with the Eye Therapist a few weeks later and he did an extensive round of tests on my sons eyes to see how well they work together and the degree of strabismus.

He determined that my son would need 8 months of therapy to get his eye to perfection.

We would need to meet with the Eye Therapist one hour each week and he would also send home eye exercises for my son to do throughout the week.

They Eye Therapist let me know that the eye exercises will tire out my son, but it will be good exercise for my sons eyes since it will strengthen the muscles.

I asked about patch therapy and he discouraged it in my sons case because he wants to get the eyes to work together, which makes sense.

We will be beginning Eye Therapy for my sons strabismus next month.

In the meanwhile, I have talked to many other Moms and have found that a lot more children have eye disorders than I first thought.

I have two friends that have their children in eye therapy right now and one mom who went through it herself when she was a little girl.

My friends whose children are going through eye therapy right now tell me that it is expensive and some doctors want the money up front, so ask about the cost before you get into it so you can make a few financial decisions.

They also said that they had to buy balance beams and other paraphernalia as part of the eye therapy, so try to include that in the cost as well.

Different Forms Of Strabismus

Amblyopia is the medical term for Lazy Eye. When a child has Amblyopia with Strabismus, their vision does not develop normally since their eyes are not working together properly.

The affected eye or eyes do not send the full signal to the brain. After a while, the brain could just shut down any signals to or from that eye, causing blindness.

If amblyopia is caught early, it could be treated. If you see anything out of the normal with your child's eyes, bring them to a specialist as soon as possible. It is better to catch these things early and have them go through therapy than to let them go and lead to blindness.

Nystagmus, also knows as quivery eye, is an involuntary fluttering or jerky movement of the eye.

The eyes could move horizontally or vertically. Several health conditions are related to nystagmus, like fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, Meniere's disease and inherited genetic disorders.

Motor nystagmus refers to loss of muscle control of the eye.

Sensory nystagmus relates to loss of vision.


Picture Of Strabismus

Stabismus.   Eyes can go inward or outward.  His right eye goes inward.
Stabismus. Eyes can go inward or outward. His right eye goes inward. | Source

Can Lasik Surgery Correct Strabismus?

Can Lasik (or Lasic) surgery correct strabismus?

With Strabismus, you will want to make sure you get a very good Lasik Surgeon. Strabismus can be corrected by Lasik Surgery.

Lasik surgery for strabismus can improve depth perception, fusion and the field of vision in both eyes.

It can also decrease the severity and occurrence of headaches related to eye strain.

During Lasik Surgery for Strabismus, the Lasik Surgeon repairs the muscle in the affected eye.

The surgery is done as an out-patient procedure. The patient will have some discomfort for the first few weeks.

Eyes should be healed and double vision should be gone within 4-6 weeks.

Lasik Surgery for Strabismus has an 80% success rate.

Therapy for Strabismus

Comments

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    • profile image

      Kristi 

      15 months ago

      I am 39 and I have Stabismus as does my mother, brother, and nephew. Toric contacts at their highest strength are not strong enough. So we are stuck with high index glasses that are still heavy and thick. My brother had surgery on his eye muscles as a child and it didn't work. I would love to get Lasik if I am finally a candidate for it.

    • caseymel profile imageAUTHOR

      caseymel 

      5 years ago from Indiana

      Thanks! I just made the appointment for my son to begin his eye therapy. It starts in a few weeks! I hope it will help because he is in Kindergarten and other kids are already commenting on his strabismus.

    • celeste inscribed profile image

      Celeste Wilson 

      5 years ago

      Very interesting article. I had an employer with strabismus and he was very insecure about it. I think it is wonderful that the condition can be treated at such a young age. Good luck with the treatment.

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