Strabismus – What is it, Symptoms and Treatments of this eye imbalance. In addition, Strabismus is a pathology that consists of misalignment of the eyes, causing both eyes not to fix the same point or object at the same time. In Ocular Strabismus , while one eye is fixed on an object, the other is deviated ( eye deviation ).
The deviation of the eyes can be permanent or appear at certain times. This deviation may be barely perceptible ( mild strabismus ) or, in this case, be more accentuated causing, in this case, a clear discomfort to the patient for aesthetic reasons, in addition to the vision problems that all strabismus entail. the patient who suffers from strabismus .
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Causes of Strabismus: Strabismus can be caused by defects in 3 different locations:
- In the muscles that move the eyes ;
- In the nerves that transmit information from the brain to the muscles to move right, left and up or down;
- In the portion of the brain that controls eye movement .
Therefore, strabismus can appear in children, when the problem is related to the lack of development of one of these places, which often happens in cases of Down syndrome or cerebral palsy, for example. As an adult, you can suddenly squint due to problems such as a stroke, head trauma, or even a blow to the eye.
Symptoms of Strabismus: In Strabismus , the symptoms can be felt permanently or they can be intermittent. People with strabismus may have different signs and symptoms, depending on the type of strabismus involved. The most common symptoms and signs of strabismus are usually the following:
- crossed eyes ;
- eyes that don’t line up in the same direction;
- Diplopia (double vision);
- loss of stereopsis (depth perception);
- Uncoordinated eye movements ( eyes do not move together).
There are usually no symptoms in congenital strabismus , unlike acquired strabismus in which the patient complains of diplopia (double vision), because the optical axes are not simultaneously directed towards the same object and there is no image suppression in one eye .
Strabismus Treatments: In addition to correcting the deviation, the treatment of Strabismus aims to provide the child with the possibility of normal vision in both eyes . The best result obtained with the treatment would be one in which the child also regained depth vision.
Treatment should be started as soon as strabismus is diagnosed. The first step is to prescribe glasses if the child has some kind of degree. If the vision of one of the eyes is worse, even with the glasses, occlusion of the eye with the best vision is indicated, for a few hours of the day, for a period that will depend on the periodic evaluation of the ophthalmologist.
Occlusion of the better vision eye can lead to improvement in the vision of the other eye, when performed systematically and in children under 8 years of age. Occlusion (covering an eye with an occlusive to prevent the child from seeing through it) is intended to make the child use the eye with the worst vision, thus stimulating the area of the brain related to the vision of this eye.
Strabismus correction through surgery is indicated when the deviation of the eyes persists even after clinical or conservative treatment. The surgery aims to align the eyes when the person looks straight ahead.
Often, the surgery is for aesthetic purposes only, not providing improvement in the vision of the deviated eye. For this reason, surgery is just another stage of treatment. In adults, the surgery can be performed under local anesthesia, but in children, general anesthesia is usually used.
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In cases where strabismus is only latent or where there is weakness of the extraocular muscles (convergence insufficiency), orthoptic treatment may be useful. Usually performed by a specialized professional (orthoptist), the treatment consists of exercises for the extra-ocular muscles, strengthening them, thus reducing fatigue on visual efforts.