When Your Child Has Strabismus
What is Strabismus?
Strabismus means that your child's eyes are not positioned
straight, They may be turned in (crossed eyes) or out. One eye
may be too low or too high compared to the other rye. One or
both eyes may be affected compared to the other. eye.
What Causes strabismus?
Strabismus may be caused by any of the following:
Weakened muscles or
abnormal nerve impulses to the eye muscles where the brain
does not know how to align the eyes
Blurred or poor
the eye that cloud vision
How do the eyes work together?
The movements of the eyes up and down and form side to side are
controlled by muscles attached to the outside of each eyeball.
Both eyes should face and turn together in the same direction.
When the eyes turn, one muscle pulls while the other relaxes.
The muscles are positioned in such a way that the eyes can move
together in all directions.
What happens if the eyes do not work together?
Most people look at an object with both eyes at the same time.
This is called normal binocular vision. Children with strabismus
have a problem with the binocular vision. They cannot use both
eyes at the same time because the eyes are not pointing in the
same directions. Vision in each eye is usually normal if the
eyes take turns looking at things, However, if the child uses
just one eye at a time the vision in the other eye may not
develop properly. This condition is known as "amblyopia" or lazy
eye. (See the pamphlet Amblyopia).
What is the treatment?
The goals of treatment are threefold:
improve or restore vision
To straighten the
To make the eyes
Each child's vision problem is different. Your Doctor will
explain what type pf treatment is best for your child. Treatment
may include a combination of the following procedures.
When strabismus results in amblyopia (lazy eye), the most common
and effective treatment is to put a patch over the stronger eye.
This helps strengthen the lazy eye. Your doctor will explain how
often and how long the patch will be needed. He/she will check
your child regularly to see if the treatment is working.
Your child may need glasses to help the eyes work together, to
improve vision, or both. To be effective the glasses must be
worn at all times when your child is awake.
Blurring the vision in the stronger eye with special eye drops
may be needed in some cases to make the lazy eye work harder.
In some "Very specific" cases eye exercises may help the eyes
move better together.
Surgery to correct eye position is often used along with glasses
and patching to help to get your child's eyes as straight as
they can be.
The goal of all the above is to help your child be as good as
they can be visually. The straighter your child's eyes and the
better the vision at as young an age as possible the better your
child can learn to see one clear image with both eyes at one
time. As your child is treated for strabismus you will work
together with your Doctor as a team to help your child be as
good as they can be. At each stage different treatments may be
applied and it is very important that you understand what is
being done, why and what the goals are. If you are ever unclear
please remember to write it down and ask the questions to your
www.med.com and search either
strabismus or amblyopia
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