Strabismus: Untangling the Mystery of Crossed Eyes in Children
Strabismus: More Than Meets the Eye
Strabismus, commonly known as crossed eyes, is a condition that can affect children and lead to long-term vision problems if not addressed. Let's explore this often misunderstood eye disorder.
What is Strabismus?
Strabismus is a condition where the eyes do not align properly, causing one or both eyes to turn inward, outward, upward, or downward. It can be constant or intermittent and may affect one or both eyes.
Causes: What Triggers Strabismus?
The root causes can vary and include:
- Muscle Imbalance: The most common cause.
- Genetic Factors: A family history of strabismus.
- Underlying Conditions: Such as cerebral palsy or Down syndrome.
- Vision Problems: Like uncorrected refractive errors.
Symptoms: Beyond Misaligned Eyes
While misaligned eyes are the primary symptom, others may include:
- Double Vision: Seeing two images of a single object.
- Depth Perception Issues: Difficulty judging distances.
- Frequent Squinting: Especially in bright light.
- Head Tilting: To compensate for the misalignment.
Diagnosis: Identifying the Issue
Diagnosis typically involves:
- Visual Acuity Test: To assess each eye's vision.
- Alignment and Focusing Tests: To evaluate eye muscles.
- Examination of the Eye Anatomy: To rule out other issues.
Treatment: Straightening Things Out
Treatment options may include:
- Eyeglasses or Contact Lenses: For refractive errors.
- Eye Patches: To strengthen the weaker eye.
- Surgery: To correct the alignment of eye muscles.
- Ongoing Monitoring: Regular check-ups are crucial.
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