What Exactly Is Strabismus? The Answer Here!

by admin on 19/05/2009

Most people have never in life even heard of the term strabismus, better yet know how to pronounce it.  Regardless of how many have heard of the term, fact is, this issue that has to do with visual alignment plays a vital role in how a person can see.  Various problems of the eyes such as nystagmus, crossed eyes, amblyopia, or better known as lazy eye…they are all matters of strabismus.


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An example of strabismus - notice male's left eye

Right now, let’s define strabismus in very basic terms.  Strabismus occurs when one or more of the muscles of the eye don’t function as they should leading to misalignment or eyes that don’t move as they should.  This could cause double vision(diplopia) and more.  Sometimes people are born with strabismus and other aquire strabismus through injury, however, it can be treated in a variety of ways by an Ophthalmologist.

One of the more common types of strabismus is lazy eye, or amblyopia.  The more proper term for it is strabismic amblyopia.  Just above, it is stated that some babies are born with this condition.  Being born with any condition is termed congenital.  As the child ages, it may become more noticeable as newborns generally have weakened extraocular muscles.  As they get older though, even before their first birthday, the muscles should work together fine, however, for some, they don’t, thus, the diagnosis.  Ophthalmologists, again, have several treatments, and for this type of amblyopia, early treatment is key to gaining “control” of the lazy eye.  For example, some children wear a patch over the more dominant eye in order to strengthen the weak eye.  It forces the child to use it.

There are many more examples of strabismus, but for now, it is generally abnormal muscle function of the extraocular muscles that cause strabismus. It does have many treatments while being overall painless, however, causing much difficulty with vision.

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