Strabismus Treatment at Visionary Eye Care
Strabismus occurs when eye muscle dysfunction, neurological issues, or farsightedness cause the eyes to cross, diverge, or be vertically misaligned. Risk factors for strabismus include children with cerebral palsy, infants born prematurely, or individuals with a family history of strabismus. Your Visionary Eye Care optometrists can diagnose strabismus by evaluating how light reflects off a patient's eyes, specifically their pupil. If light does not center on the eye's pupil correctly, strabismus may be impacting the eyes' ability to converge normally.
Causes of Strabismus
Your eyes are controlled by multiple muscles that work together to focus the eyes on one object. When these muscles fail to work together, one eye will look at something as the other eye wanders in different directions, trying to focus on other objects. Consequently, strabismus causes two dissimilar image signals to be sent to your brain, which does not understand how to interpret different images coming from eyes that should converge and focus on one thing. In most cases of childhood strabismus, the problem is with eye muscle control and not eye muscle strength. This means strabismus can be treated by your optometrist using techniques to retrain the eye muscles.
Although not as common as childhood strabismus, strabismus in adults may be caused by diabetes, botulism, stroke, Graves disease, or eye trauma. Treatment may not be as successful for adults as it is for children with strabismus.
What is the Difference Between Strabismus and Amblyopia?
Loss of vision due to untreated strabismus is called amblyopia ("lazy eye"). Amblyopia is categorized as strabismic, refractive (caused by astigmatism, farsightedness or nearsightedness) or deprivational (caused by vision deprivation disorders occurring in childhood, such as congenital cataracts). In addition to reduced visual acuity, people with amblyopia may also suffer color/contrast sensitivity, spatial distortions, and inability to determine the shape of an object.
Dr. Michael Cook is a Behavioral Optometrist, specializing in such binocular vision dysfunctions as strabismus. He is board certified through the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (see COVD.org). After an in-depth binocular vision evaluation, he may prescribe a program of vision therapy as a means to treat strabismus in you or your child.
Call Visionary Eye Care at (813) 425-9596 today.