Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes are misaligned, meaning one eye may be straight while the other is turned inward, outward, upward, or downward. A visual defect commonly accompanies strabismus. Strabismus affects about 4% of children and can continue through life, or in some instances, can begin in adulthood.
Good alignment of both eyes during childhood allows normal vision to develop. The first nine years of life are particularly important, since this is the Period when the brain is developing visually. In strabismus, the abnormal alignment may cause reduced vision, which is referred to as amblyopia. In addition, the brain will often use the image of the accurate eye while ignoring the image of the deviating eye, which can cause a loss of one component of depth perception known as binocular vision with stereopsis. Early diagnosis and treatment of strabismus is important and can directly affect outcome with respect to visual acuity and binocular vision.
Children's eyes should be examined as part of regular check-ups by a pediatrician or family doctor from infancy through the school years . Infant's eyes are often slightly misaligned during the first month of life. However, large degrees of misalignment or misalignment persisting beyond about one month of age should be investigated. It is often difficult for parents to determine whether their babies' eyes are misaligned. The pediatrician and the ophthamologist can help determine whether an infant has strabismus.
Strabismus may be treated in a variety of ways, depending on its cause. Treatment options include glasses, eye exercises, and occasionally, eye drops. In some instances, surgery to reposition the eye muscles may be necessary. In general, if any form of treatment is required, the earlier in life it is initiated, the better the child's chance of developing normal vision.
Additional sites pertaining to Pediatric Eye Disorders:
New England Eye Center
260 Tremont Street
Phone: 617-636-4600 • Fax: 617-636-4866