Pediatrics and Adult Strabismus

Pediatrics and Adult Strabismus

Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus is a subspecialty of ophthalmology devoted to the eye diseases of children as well as the muscle disorders (strabismus) in adults.

What is strabismus?

Strabismus is a visual defect in which the eyes are misaligned and point in different directions. One eye may look straight ahead while the other eye turns inward, upward, downward, or outward. The eye turn may be constant, or it may come and go. Which eye is straight (and which is misaligned) may switch or alternate.

Strabismus is common condition among children, especially in those with brain disorders. About 4% of all children in the U.S. have it. However, it can occur later in life and is then called adult strabismus.

How does strabismus affect vision?

Adults with this condition often have double vision because their brains have already learned to receive images from both eyes and cannot ignore the image from the turned eye. A child generally does not see double.

Because good vision develops during childhood when both eyes have normal alignment, strabismus can cause amblyopia, or reduced vision, in the misaligned eye. The brain pays attention to the image of the straight eye and ignores the image of the crossed eye. If the same eye is consistently ignored during early childhood, the misaligned eye may fail to develop good vision, or even lose vision. This occurs in approximately half of the children with strabismus.

Adults with strabismus may experience:

  • Eye fatigue
  • Double vision
  • Overlapped or blurred images
  • A pulling sensation around the eyes
  • Reading difficulty
  • Loss of depth perception

How is strabismus treated?

After a child is diagnosed with strabismus, an ophthalmologist can recommend appropriate treatment. In some cases, eye glasses may help straighten the eyes. Other treatments may involve surgery to correct the unbalanced eye muscles or to remove a cataract. Covering, blurring, or patching the strong eye to improve amblyopia is often necessary.

For adults, treatment may include:

  • Eye muscle exercises
  • Eyeglasses
  • Botox injections
  • Eye muscle surgery

When should a child's have their eyes checked?

Strabismus is just one of the many pediatric eye conditions that may disrupt a child's healthy eye development. This is why it's so important for children to attend regular eye examinations.

Our pediatric eye doctor specializes in medical and surgical treatment for strabismus and a wide range of conditions that may affect your child's vision. Call to schedule an appointment today.

Additional Information

Pediatric Conditions and Adult Strabismus (English):