Strabismus Treatment in Clifton, NJ
What is Strabismus?
Strabismus is a condition that causes the eyes to become misaligned, or, in some cases, crossed. It is most commonly seen in infants and young children, although older children and adults can develop it, too. When the eyes are functioning properly, the muscles attached to the eye work together to move the eyes in the same direction at the same time. Strabismus occurs when the eye muscles fail to function properly and are unable to control eye movement—especially during times of rest.
Proper eye alignment is essential for healthy vision—when the eyes become misaligned, the brain receives two different images. As this condition develops, the brain begins to ignore the image from the affected eye. When signals are not being properly transmitted to the brain, vision problems usually arise. Patients who do not seek treatment for strabismus can suffer from another condition called amblyopia, which can cause permanent vision reduction in the affected eye. Patients with this condition often see double and their depth perception greatly diminishes.
There are numerous forms of strabismus—including constant and intermittent—but the condition is typically classified by the direction the eye turns:
- Esotropia: Inward turning
- Exotropia: Outward turning
- Hypotropia: Downward turning
- Hypertropia: Upward turning
How is Strabismus Diagnosed?
A eye exam is the best way to diagnose and treat strabismus. During the exam, the physician will place special emphasis on how the eyes focus and move. He or she will begin the exam by gathering a detailed patient history. It's important for patients to provide as much detailed information about any general health problems, medications they're taking or environmental factors that may be contributing to their symptoms.
Next, the physician will begin a physical and ocular examination, and aspects of these tests may include:
- Visual acuity measurements: These measurements are used to assess the extent to which the vision has been affected. As part of this testing, patients will be asked to read letters on distant and near reading charts.
- Refraction: A refraction procedure is conducted to determine the appropriate lens power that is needed to compensate for any refractive error.
- Alignment and focus testing: These series of tests are designed to assess how well the eyes function, move and work together.
- Eye health examination: During this part of the exam, the physician will evaluate the structures of the eye to rule out any eye disease that may be contributing to this condition.
Causes and Treatment of Strabismus:
Childhood strabismus has no known cause, although family history is often thought to be contributing factor. In adults, most strabismus cases are caused by an abnormality that causes poor eye movement control. Strabismus can also develop when the eyes are forced to compensate for other vision problems, such as farsightedness or cataracts. Other common causes of strabismus in adults include:
- Family history: Individuals with parents or siblings who have strabismus are more likely to develop it.
- Refractive error: Patients who have a significant amount of farsightedness may develop this condition due to the amount of focus required to keep their vision clear.
- Medical conditions: Conditions that cause neurological damage such as a stroke and individuals with conditions such as Down syndrome and cerebral palsy are at a higher risk of developing this condition.
Although strabismus is a serious condition that can lead to vision loss, it is treatable with ophthalmic care. There are numerous non-invasive treatment options available that improve eye alignment and coordination. In cases where the condition is caught in its earliest stages, corrective eyeglasses, prism lenses and vision therapy are all effective treatment methods. In situations where the condition has advanced and is causing vision damage, eye muscle surgery may be recommended to realign the eyes.
Call (973) 777-3711 or contact Dr. Maged Boutros online for more information about strabismus.
Address1033 US 46
Clifton, NJ 07013