Crossed eyes are extremely common in children. Strabismus is an eye alignment issue in which both eyes do not look in the same unified direction. There are many causes, but children who are farsighted, or have poor eye muscle control are most commonly affected. Strabismus can sometimes cause vision problems such as seeing double, and problems with depth perception. Your child may be suffering silently. It’s best to bring them in for an eye exam as soon as possible if you notice any crossing of the eyes. So what causes Strabismus and how is it treated? Read on to find out in this week’s blog.
The Muscles Of The Eyes
There are 6 different muscles that attach to each eye and receive neurological messages that control eye movement. Issues with eye alignment occur when either the muscles are receiving different signals from the brain, or they’re not working together to point the eyes in the same direction. Depending on one’s family history, medical conditions, or pre-existing vision problems, the strabismus may vary. The most common types are accommodative esotropia and intermittent exotropia.
Most commonly caused by uncorrected farsightedness, accommodative esotropia is a type of strabismus in which the eyes must focus and strain extra hard in order to produce a clear picture, which can throw off a reflex that in turn causes the eyes to turn inward. The closer the object, the greater amount of accommodation is required.
Intermittent exotropia is a problem with eye coordination. Eyes may point beyond a specific object, instead of focusing directly on it. Children with this type of strabismus experience frequent headaches, eye strain, and thus, difficulty reading because the eyes aren’t cohesively focusing in the same direction. They may cover one eye when trying to focus on a distant object. Symptoms and vision problems are usually not present for one’s entire life. Intermittent exotropia can be corrected and often occurs for a short period of time.
How Do You Treat Strabismus?
If the strabismus is infrequent or mild, close monitoring by an pediatric ophthalmologist may be all that is needed. When strabismus occurs often and causes vision problems and problems with daily functioning, intervention is needed. Sometimes, glasses, patching, or exercises can help. Sometimes, surgery is the only way to properly realign the eyes. To allow the development of 3-dimensional vision, it is best to have the procedure done while your child is still young. Surgery involves weakening or strengthening specific eye muscles on one or both eyes. If you or your child require such a procedure, your doctor will certainly explain it in more detail.
Call Pediatric Eye Care of Maryland Today!
Pediatric Eye Care of Maryland takes you and your child’s eye health very seriously. With a full staff of highly skilled Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, and Orthoptists we’ve got ocular health covered. If you feel any concern about your vision, have questions concerning eye health, or need information on the services we offer contact us today. With 4 convenient locations in Maryland, we are your number one choice for eye treatment.