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Adult patients with Strabismus have been told that nothing could be done to help them. Although poor vision from amblyopia cannot be reversed, misalignment of the eyes can be treated successfully with eye muscle surgery.

Besides restoring the appearance of the eyes, surgery may also improve a patient’s ability to make eye contact in social situations, eliminate or reduce double vision, and expand the field of peripheral vision.

Strabismus symptoms:

  • Eyes that look in different directions
  • Head tilt or turn
  • Double vision

Types of Strabismus

Strabismus is generally classified as one of these three types:

  • Esotropia: when one or both eyes turn inward
  • Exotropia: when one or both eyes turn outward
  • Hypertropia: when the axis of one eye remains higher than the other

What is Adult Strabismus?

Strabismus is a misalignment of the eyes. As an adult, this may cause functional symptoms such as double vision or difficulty making eye contact during social interactions.

Adult strabismus generally falls into one of the following categories:

  • Childhood-onset strabismus that was never corrected.
  • Childhood-onset strabismus for which eye muscle surgery was 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 believe strabismus can only be fixed in childhood—this is not true! Strabismus surgery can often improve patients’ ability to use their eyes together (stereovision), improve peripheral vision, and cosmetically align the eyes. Strabismus repair is not a “cosmetic” procedure but should be considered reconstructive surgery more appropriately. 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. Nevertheless, some patients may require glasses, prisms, and medications or be better off without treatment. To determine if surgery is likely to be beneficial, all patients considering surgery should be evaluated by a strabismus specialist. Eye alignment surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure. Most individuals return to nearly all normal activities following surgery within a few days. Recovery depends on the patient’s age, type of surgery, and whether the patient has had previous surgery.

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Florida Vision Institute
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