What is strabismus and why does it occur in adults?
Strabismus (struh-BIS-mus) is a condition in which the eyes are not properly aligned with one another. You may have heard this referred to as “cross-eyed”, “wall-eye” or “lazy eye”. An adult patient may have had this condition since childhood (that was either never diagnosed or unsuccessfully treated), experienced an illness or injury later in life, or in some cases, unfortunately, there is no identifiable reason that caused misalignment of the eyes.
Adults with strabismus may experience any or all of the findings/symptoms below:
- eye(s) cross in, wander out, float up or down
- the eyes do not move together
- double vision
- use a head position to relieve double vision
- eye fatigue
- overlapped or blurred images
- reading difficulty
- loss of depth perception
If you have any of these findings/symptoms, you should be evaluated by a specialist in adult strabismus at Colorado Center for Eye Alignment.
Which adults are at higher risk of having or developing strabismus?
- if you have a family history of strabismus
- if you had strabismus in childhood
- if you have thyroid disease (Grave’s Disease)
- if you have Myasthenia Gravis
- if you have a history of a brain tumor
- if you have had a stroke or aneurysm
- if you have had a head injury
- if you have had an injury to the bone surrounding the eye (orbital fracture)
- if you have a low vision or non-seeing eye
What is binocular vision or fusion?
Each of your eyes sees the world independently and sends a unique image to the brain. If you have binocular vision, it means that your brain can take these two individual snap shots and merge them together into a single, three dimensional perception of the world. When the eyes are not aligned properly, depth perception may be limited or non-existent.
Who treats misaligned eyes in adults?
All of the physicians at Colorado Center for Eye Alignment are highly qualified to treat all forms of eye misalignment in adults. You will see in the biographies for each of our doctors that they have all obtained a fellowship in Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. Not only do our physicians have training in general ophthalmology, they have also completed additional education and training in the fields of pediatric ophthalmology and adult strabismus. An ophthalmologist trained in strabismus is the most qualified specialist to diagnose and treat any eye misalignment in adults.
Why didn’t my primary care physician, ophthalmologist or optometrist tell me that help was available?
Unfortunately, many doctors outside of our very specialized field are not aware that treatment for eye misalignment in adults is available. Additionally, many are under the impression that surgery can only be performed as a child or that surgery is not very successful in adulthood. These claims are simply not true. We are frequently meeting with primary care physicians, ophthalmologist and optometrists in hopes to give them more information regarding adult strabismus and treatment options.
Can anything be done for adults with strabismus or misaligned eyes?
Absolutely! As an adult with eye misalignment you may have been told by a physician or friend that nothing can be done to re-align the eyes. This is simply not true. Eye muscle surgery is safe, effective and highly successful and it is never too late to make a decision for surgical correction. In some cases, non-surgical treatment, such as prism glasses, is an effective alternative to surgery.