Adult Strabismus FAQs

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Adult Strabismus FAQs

What is Adult Strabismus?

Strabismus is a misalignment of the eyes. In adults, this may cause functional symptoms such as double vision, or cause awkwardness in social interactions due to difficulty making eye contact.

Adult strabismus generally falls into one of the following categories:

  • A childhood-onset strabismus that was never corrected.
  • Childhood-onset strabismus for which eye muscle surgery had been performed but a significant eye misalignment persists or has recurred.
  • Acquired strabismus arising from eye or head trauma, stroke, brain lesions orbital inflammatory disease (e.g., thyroid eye disease) or prior eye surgery.

How is Adult Strabismus treated?

Eyes can be straightened at any age and surgery should be considered as a treatment alternative if it enhances a patient’s quality of life. Many people are under the impression that strabismus can only be fixed in childhood—this is simply not true! Strabismus surgery can often improve a patient’s ability to use their eyes together (stereovision), improve peripheral vision, as well as cosmetically align the eyes. Strabismus repair is not a "cosmetic" procedure but should more appropriately be considered reconstructive surgery. Misaligned eyes can hinder social interaction, self-confidence and employment opportunities. All individuals deserve straight eyes if possible.

Treatment of strabismus generally requires eye muscle surgery. However, some patients may need glasses, prisms, medications, or may be best left untreated. All patients considering surgery should be evaluated by a strabismus specialist who will not only check the overall health of the eyes, but will also determine if treatment is likely to be beneficial Eye alignment surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure. Following surgery most individuals return to nearly all normal activities within a few days. The recovery depends on patient age, type of surgery, and whether patient has had previous surgery.