Strabismus

Benjamin Optical -  - Eye Center

Benjamin Optical

Eye Center & Optometrists located in Harlem, New York, NY, Inwood, NY & Staten Island, NY

Many people think crossed or lazy eyes are simply an aesthetic inconvenience. But anyone who has lived with strabismus, as the condition is called, is aware of its far-reaching effects on their vision. Fortunately, the dedicated team at Benjamin Optical can help correct strabismus so you can see clearly. To learn more, call their office in Harlem, Brooklyn, Staten Island, or Inwood, New York, or book your appointment online.

Strabismus Q & A

What’s strabismus?

Strabismus occurs when your two eyes don’t work together to see clearly. While most human eyes work as a pair, approximately 4% of people in the United States have eyes that don’t focus on the same object together, resulting in strabismus.

Usually, strabismus results in double vision and reduced depth perception. To prevent ongoing double vision, the brain eventually begins to ignore the input from the eye that’s out of alignment. This can lead to amblyopia — lazy eye.

The types of strabismus are:

  • Esotropia, in which one eye turns inward (often called crossed eyes)
  • Exotropia, in which one eye turns outward
  • Hypertropia, in which one eye turns upward
  • Hypotropia, in which one eye turns downward

Who gets strabismus?

Strabismus is most common in children, but it can affect people of any age.

When children have strabismus, it’s common for their parents to think they will outgrow the condition. That isn’t the case. Without work to correct the misalignment of the eyes, strabismus can cause ongoing vision problems.

What’s more, because it affects the child’s appearance, it can cause insecurity and inhibit their social development.

What causes strabismus?

Each eye is guided by six muscles around it. In order for both eyes to focus on the same object at the same time, each of those muscles needs to coordinate perfectly with the others.

In eyes affected by strabismus, that coordination fails, either because of a problem with the muscles or because of the signals the brain sends to those muscles.

Can strabismus be treated?

Yes. The first step to effective treatment is an accurate diagnosis. The expert optometrists at Benjamin Optical deliver this with a variety of tests, including a retinal exam, visual acuity test, corneal light reflex test, and more. They use these tests to determine the exact amount the eyes are out of alignment.

Then they recommend the best course of treatment. Benjamin Optical commonly recommends eyeglasses first. Glasses can help reduce the deviation of the misaligned eye and restore your vision.

Other treatments include orthoptics (eye coordination exercises), patching the misaligned eye, and surgery. The Benjamin Optical team can help you explore the treatments so you can make the best decision for your eyes.

To learn more or to seek treatment of strabismus, call Benjamin Optical or schedule your appointment online.