Strabismus Surgery

What are the symptoms of Strabismus?

The main symptom of strabismus is an eye that is not straight. Sometimes children will squint one eye in bright sunlight or tilt their head to use their eyes together.

How is Strabismus diagnosed?

Strabismus can be diagnosed during an eye exam. It is recommended that all children have their vision checked by their pediatrician, family doctor or ophthalmologist (medical eye doctor) at or before their fourth birthday. If there is a family history of strabismus or amblyopia, an ophthalmologist can check vision even earlier than age three. The eyes of infants often seem to be crossed. Young children often have a wide, flat nose and a fold of skin at the inner eyelid that can make the eyes appear crossed. This appearance of strabismus may improve as the child grows. A child will not outgrow true strabismus. An ophthalmologist can usually tell the difference between true and false strabismus.

How is Strabismus treated?

Treatment for strabismus works to: Preserve vision; Straighten the eyes; Restore binocular (two-eyed) vision. After a complete eye examination, an ophthalmologist can recommend appropriate treatment, and in some cases, eyeglasses can be prescribed for your child. Other treatments may involve surgery to correct the unbalanced eye muscles or to remove a cataract. Covering or patching the strong eye to improve amblyopia is often necessary.

How is strabismus surgery done?

The eyeball is never removed from the socket during any kind of eye surgery. The ophthalmologist makes a small incision in the tissue covering the eye to reach the eye muscles. Certain muscles are repositioned during the surgery, depending on which direction the eye is turning. It may be necessary to perform surgery on one or both eyes. When strabismus surgery is performed on children, a general anesthetic is required. Local anesthesia is an option for adults.

Recovery time is rapid. People are usually able to resume their normal activities within a few days. After surgery, glasses or prisms may be useful. In many cases, further surgery may be needed at a later stage to keep the eyes straight.