Strabismus (crossed eye)
Strabismus refers to abnormal alignment of the eyes or in simple terms, both the eyes point in different directions. People with strabismus or crossed eyes have difficulty in controlling eye movements and to keep normal eye position or ocular alignment.
There are different types of strabismus based on the direction of misalignment. The four major types are:
- Esotropia: a condition in which one or both eyes are turned inwards
- Exotropia: a condition in which one or both eyes are turned outwards
- Hypertropia: a condition in which one eye is turned upwards
- Hypotropia: a condition in which one eye is turned downwards
Strabismus can be caused by:
- Eye muscle problems
- Defects in control centres of the brain that control eye movements
- Disorders or defects in nerves that transmit information to the eye muscles
- Genetic conditions and family history
- Damage to eye muscles during eye surgery
- Double vision
- Blurry vision
- Vision impairment
- Frequent blinking
- Trouble reading or writing
- Eyes that move in different directions from one another
- Tilting head to see things clearly
- Loss of or decreased depth perception
Diagnosis of strabismus may include:
- Review of signs and symptoms
- Medical history
- Family history
- Eye exam which includes:
- Visual acuity test
- Alignment and focus tests
- Examination after dilation of the pupils
Strabismus is a condition which cannot be prevented. Early treatment is the best option to avoid further problems and vision loss.
The common measures in the treatment for strabismus are:
- Eyeglasses or contact lenses to treat mild conditions like uncorrected refractive errors.
- Eye patching is a method done to improve vision if there is a coexisting condition like amblyopia.
- Surgery on eye muscles to improve vision and alignment.
- Eye muscle exercises can be helpful to treat some forms of strabismus.
- Prism eyeglass or lens is also used which helps in reducing the misalignment.
- Medications like botox are also used in the treatment of strabismus.
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