Symptoms of Strabismus
Strabismus is any misalignment of the eyes. It is estimated that 4% of the U.S. population has strabismus.
Are there different types of strabismus and if so, how are they named?
There are many different types of strabismus. Strabismus is most commonly described by the direction of the eye misalignment; common types of strabismus are esotropia, exotropia, hypotropia, and hypertropia.
Strabismus can also be described by its cause. The 3 cranial nerves (III, IV, VI) responsible for eye movement can be weak or palsied and cause strabismus. Some examples of paralytic strabismus include third nerve palsy and superior oblique palsy.
Special patterns of strabismus can have unique names such as Brown syndrome, and Duane syndrome.
What are the types of horizontal strabismus?
Esotropia is inward turning of the eyes (aka "crossed eyes"). Types of esotropia include infantile esotropia, accommodative esotropia, and sixth nerve palsy. Exotropia is the term used to describe outward turning of the eyes (aka "wall-eyed").
What are the types of vertical strabismus?
The terms hypertropia and hypotropia are used to describe vertical misalignment. Hypertropia is an abnormal eye higher than the normal eye. Hypotropia is when the abnormal eye is lower than the normal eye. The terms can generally be interchanged.
What causes strabismus?
Most strabismus is the result of an abnormality of the poorly understood neuromuscular (including brain) control of eye movement. Less commonly, a problem with the actual eye muscle causes strabismus.
How is strabismus related to poor vision?
Eye misalignment can cause amblyopia in children. When the eyes are oriented in different directions, the brain receives 2 different visual images. The brain may ignore the image from the misaligned eye to avoid double vision, resulting in poor vision development of that eye. Also, an eye that sees poorly tends to be misaligned.
Who develops strabismus as a child?
Strabismus often occurs in children who are otherwise completely normal. However, disorders that affect the brain such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, hydrocephalus and brain tumor are more likely to develop strabismus.
What adult disorders cause strabismus?
Stroke is the leading cause of strabismus in adults. Trauma, neurological problems, and Graves disease (thyroid eye disorders) are other common causes of strabismus.
How does trauma cause strabismus?
Trauma can cause strabismus by 1) brain damage that impairs control of eye movement, 2) damage of the nerves that control eye movement and/or 3) damage of the eye muscles either directly or secondarily from trauma to the eye socket.
How is strabismus treated?
The goal of strabismus treatment is to improve eye alignment which allows for the eyes to better work together (binocular vision). Treatment may involve eye glasses, eye exercises, prism, and/ or eye muscle surgery. Problems associated with strabismus (including amblyopia, ptosis, and cataract) are usually treated prior to eye muscle surgery.
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Commonly Asked Questions:
Are you one of the millions of men who take Flomax?
If so, you should make sure to alert your eye physician. Flomax has been associated with extra difficulty during cataract surgery and requires extra preparation to ensure a good outcome. Tell your doctor if you take Flomax.
Are cataracts found only in older people?
Most cataracts develop as part of the aging process, from a change
in the chemical composition of the lens. They don't usually become a
problem until your 60s or 70s.
Cataracts can also occur at a younger age from any number of causes:
an eye injury (even many years earlier), certain eye diseases (such
as uveitis), medical conditions (such as diabetes), heredity, birth
defect, some medications (such as steroids - even if just used in an
inhaler), excessive alcohol consumption, and smoking.
How do I know when I need surgery for my cataracts?
When your cataracts have progressed enough to seriously impair your
vision and affect your daily life.
Am I a good candidate for an intraocular lens
If your symptoms are impairing your vision and affecting your daily
life, it might be time to talk to your eye care professional. Make
an appointment here.
How soon after surgery will I see well?
If you have an intraocular lens (IOL) implanted during surgery, normal
vision should be restored within a few weeks.