When it comes to strabismus, surgery, and vision therapy, parents may experience a range of emotions from anxiety to relief. It’s important to learn more about strabismus, the available treatments, and the potential risks associated with them.
Strabismus is a disorder where the eyes do not align properly. Strabismus can present as one or both eyes, alternating between the two, turning inward or outward. Less commonly, it can present as one eye being higher or lower than the other. It usually presents in childhood and can cause vision impairments that may require surgery and/or vision therapy.
Surgery is used to treat strabismus when the eyes are misaligned due to muscle imbalances. During the procedure, the muscles around the eye are adjusted to help them realign. The surgery is usually successful in improving alignment, but it’s not always a permanent solution and can cause some risks such as double vision and loss of eye movement.
Performance Vision Therapy is another option to help correct strabismus. It includes exercises that strengthen communication between the eyes and the brain and train them to work together. Vision therapy can also help with other vision problems such as amblyopia (“lazy eye”), diplopia (double vision), tracking problems, and focusing issues related to strabismus.
Vision therapy is often recommended in conjunction with surgery for strabismus, but it can be used alone if the condition in many cases. It typically takes 12-24 weeks to see improvement, and it’s important to follow the treatment plan closely for the best results.
For parents who are concerned about strabismus in their child, it’s important to discuss the options with a qualified medical professional as soon as possible. Surgery may be the most effective option if there is an underlying muscle imbalance, but vision therapy can also be helpful for less severe cases. When surgery is performed, it is often recommended to do vision therapy in conjunction with surgery to ensure better surgical outcomes. With the right treatment plan, it is possible to correct strabismus and improve the child’s functional vision.
Regardless of which treatment path a parent chooses, it’s important to take their child for regular eye exams and follow therapy instructions closely. With the right care and attention, it’s possible to improve your child’s vision and ensure they have a bright future.