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Adult Strabismus: What To Know About Diagnosis And Treatment

Strabismus is a misalignment of the eyes due to the six eye muscles not working together to focus correctly on an object. When someone has strabismus, one eye may look straight ahead, and the other eye will turn in, out, up, or down. Although a significant number of strabismus cases occur in children, adults can also have strabismus affect their lives and their vision. Adult strabismus: what to know about diagnosis and treatment.

How Strabismus Affects Adults

The primary vision issue for an adult with strabismus is double vision or visual confusion. Both of these are serious issues for any active adult. Double vision can make driving dangerous. It also affects reading, working, and depth perception. Sometimes eyes can just wander causing eye strain and discomfort. For all these reasons, adult strabismus is usually covered by insurance.

Strabismus can also affect a person’s self-confidence and social interactions. When someone has crossed eyes, they feel embarrassed and many times are unable to look another in the eyes. If you have known adults with strabismus, you may have found it uncomfortable as well.

An adult with strabismus can suffer emotionally, socially, and even economically.

Causes Of Adult Strabismus

There are a number of reasons an adult may have strabismus. It could be a recurrence from childhood or the condition was just never treated, and it is now more noticeable.

New onset strabismus may be caused by the following:

  • A tumor
  • Stroke
  • Thyroid eye disease
  • Diabetes
  • A neurologic condition

It can also occur with a retinal detachment or as a complication after cataract or glaucoma surgery.

Diagnosis And Treatment Of Strabismus

For the most part, diagnosis of strabismus can be made by simply looking at the misalignment of the eyes. In addition, there are a number of blood tests and imaging studies Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus Associates can perform to make a definitive diagnosis.

Treatment ranges from special glasses with a prism for those with mild double vision, eye muscle exercises, injections of BOTOX, or the most common treatment — surgery.

Surgery is performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon changes the length or position of the eye muscles so that eyes are aligned correctly. The muscles may be strengthened, weakened, or repositioned.

There is also an adjustable suture with an accessible knot. The surgeon can re-adjust alignment, if needed, within one or two days after surgery while the patient is awake.

You don’t have to live with strabismus no matter how old you are. 

Contact Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus Associates at (610) 347-7672 for an evaluation and your options to correct strabismus.