Your brain directs your eyes’ muscles to work together, helping you see the objects across your visual field. When they fail to collaborate properly, this may lead to eye alignment problems, such as strabismus. Let your expert eye doctor, Dr. Joel H. McGahen, O.D., discuss this condition in detail.
How Strabismus Happens
Strabismus develops when your visual and neurological systems have faulty coordination, resulting in poor eye muscle control. This may cause one or both of your eyes to turn inward (esotropia), outward (exotropia), upward (hypertropia), or downward (hypotropia). Although this condition often develops during childhood, adults may also develop it as a complication of other health problems, like stroke and tumors.
How Strabismus Affects Your Vision
The trademark manifestation of strabismus is the misalignment of your eyes itself. According to your low vision specialist, this may cause your brain to register two different images, forcing it to eventually ignore signals from the weaker eye. This may lead to another eye condition known as amblyopia or “lazy eye.” You may also exhibit compensatory mannerisms, like head tilting, squinting, and eye rubbing.
How Strabismus Is Managed
Strabismus can be detected through a comprehensive eye exam. This may involve performing a cover/uncover test to assess your eyes’ alignment and focusing qualities. We may ask you to read from a chart while covering one of your eyes. We’ll then repeat the same steps while covering the other eye. We may also have you undergo a neurological evaluation to check if your brain and eyes have problems working together.
We may prescribe contact lenses or eyeglasses for your eyes’ better alignment and binocular functions. If using corrective eyewear is insufficient for improving your visual acuity, we may also recommend wearing an eye patch as part of our low vision management. It is applied on the stronger eye for a given period, training your brain to acknowledge signals coming from the weaker eye. Vision therapy may help enhance your eye muscles’ coordination skills as well, facilitating their better teamwork.
For more information about strabismus, call us at (717) 609-4443 or complete our form. We serve PA families in Shippensburg, Greencastle, and nearby Pennsylvania areas.