What is strabismus?

Crossed and misaligned eyes (medically referred to as strabismus) are common eye conditions at any age. Unfortunately, many patients with strabismus are led to believe that there is little to be offered to correct the condition. Adult patients with strabismus often suffer from chronic double vision and/or a socially embarrassing wandering eye for the rest of their lives. Alternatively, some adult strabismus patients are fitted with prism glasses that correct the misalignment in only certain directions of gaze, but routine activities such as driving remain difficult or dangerous because the double vision is not fully corrected. With recent advances in medical treatments and surgical techniques, it is important to be aware that there is a great deal that can now be done to help straighten a wandering eye. Realignment of the eyes can potentially restore binocular vision, improving depth perception that is important for common activities, such as driving safely and walking down stairs.

Strabismus that develops in the adult years can be indicative of a potentially serious neurological problem and should always be investigated by an ophthalmologist. Common causes of new onset adult strabismus include stroke, thyroid eye disease, myasthenia gravis, head injury, and tumor.

While childhood strabismus is less likely to be indicative of a serious neurological problem, it is a common cause of vision loss from lazy eye (amblyopia). The visual system in the young child is not fully mature, and equal input from both eyes is required for proper visual development. If a child has strabismus, the brain sees two images and learns to ignore the image from the misaligned eye. This may result in permanent vision loss (amblyopia) in the misaligned eye. Early detection provides the best opportunity for effective, inexpensive treatment.

At Mudgil Eye Associates, PC, one of our specialties is the management of Adult and Pediatric Strabismus. Dr. Mudgil is a board certified ophthalmologist and fellowship trained specialist in Pediatric Ophthalmology & Adult Strabismus. He has received national recognition for his extensive research involving the treatment of eye muscle disorders that cause double vision in children and adults.