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Frequent Questions About Strabismus Answered By Our Yakima Optometrist

cross-eyes

What is Strabismus (Crossed-eye)?

People who are severely farsighted or have underdeveloped eye muscle control may suffer strabismus, a condition impairing the ability of your eyes to focus on one object or area simultaneously.  Eye movement is guided by several muscles that receive electrochemical signals from the brain. If these muscles fail to interpret signals correctly, eyes may turn downward, upward, inward or outward. Deficient eye alignment interferes with depth perception, image clarity and color perception because your brain is trying to interpret two messages instead of one.

FAQs about Strabismus

Do Adults Get Strabismus?

Adults diagnosed with strabismus are usually suffering from residual childhood strabismus. Sometimes, adult strabismus occurs as a side effect of stroke, tumors, thyroid eye disease or other unidentifiable reasons.

What is "False Strabismus"

Although a baby's eyes may seem misaligned, his eyes are actually focusing on one object. False strabismus (pseudostrabismus) usually occurs when extra skin covers the inside corner of an infant's eyes. As the child's face develops, this condition normally disappears.

What are Risk Factors for Developing Strabismus?

Children and adults may be at risk for having lazy or crossed-eye if they:

  • Were born prematurely/underweight at birth
  • Have a family history of strabismus
  • Have been diagnosed with a developmental disability (Down's syndrome, autism)

Why Does Strabismus Need Treated As Soon As Possible?

Neglecting to treat strabismus can lead to permanent vision impairment. In fact, untreated strabismus is responsible for nearly three percent of vision loss in adults.  If you suspect your child or another family member is suffering a crossed-eye condition, call your doctor of optometry in Kennewick today to schedule an appointment.

Is Surgery Recommended to Treat Strabismus?

Surgery to correct strabismus only addresses the cosmetic aspect of crossed eyes. It will not improve binocular vision because the brain continues to rely on only one eye when interpreting vision signals. Consequently, people undergoing surgery to correct strabismus often find their double vision returning again. Patching one eye is also not a viable treatment. Regression inevitably occurs because patching does not train both eyes to focus together.

What are the Benefits of Vision Therapy for Strabismus?

The American Optometry Association strongly recommends non-surgical vision therapy for strabismus to improve muscle control, depth perception and binocular vision.  A program consisting of evidence-based procedures and exercises directed by your Kennewick optometrist, vision therapy is individualized to accommodate each patient's unique needs. By initiating progressive changes to how the brain interprets and processes visual information coming from the eye's optic nerve, children and adults with strabismus strengthen their eye muscles to restore correct positioning of the eyes and naturally re-establish good vision abilities.

Schedule Your Appointment

Kennewick and Yakima residents can schedule an appointment for an eye examination or to discuss vision therapy for strabismus with our doctor of optometry. Contact Washington Vision Therapy by calling 509-654-9256 today.

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