Adult Strabismus

Dr. Burke is one of Cincinnati’s most trusted resources concerning adult strabismus.

Strabismus is an ocular condition that occurs when the eyes are misaligned and point in different directions from each other. As a result, your eyes do not work together.

Strabismus may occur at any time–infancy, early childhood, or adulthood. When it happens in children, double vision rarely results because the brain is able to process the image from one eye while suppressing the visual image in the other. However, when strabismus presents in adults, double vision may occur.

The most common causes of strabismus in adults: persistence of or recurrence of strabismus that began in childhood, thyroid orbital disease, stroke, head trauma, and diseases that may affect the nerves such as diabetes, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis, and brain tumors.

The main complaint from an adult is that the eyes are visibly in different positions. Adults may be aware of double vision, complain of trouble focusing or eye strain, be aware that images may jump or have difficulty tracking images while reading, and loss of peripheral vision. As they are unable to make direct eye contact with both eyes when looking at other people, many adults feel awkward in social situations often negatively impacting their self-image and self-confidence, interpersonal interactions, and their employment.

The primary goal of treatment is to align the eyes and restore binocular vision. The most common method is surgical realignment where selected eye muscles are repositioned so that the eyes can be rebalanced to work together. Surgery is typically done as an outpatient surgical procedure. People recover quickly from this procedure and are able to return to most normal activities within a week although healing and complete recovery may take a few months. Strabismus surgery is safe, very effective, and enhances your quality of life. In a few instances, additional eye muscle surgery maybe necessary to keep the eyes aligned.

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