You may not know the word strabismus but you may have seen someone with crossed eyes. Strabismus is more common in young children but adults can develop it too. Ophthalmologist Dr. Randa Garrana at Advanced Lasik in New York City, Long Beach, California, or Pasadena, California, is skilled in treating the condition and helping people see better. Here are three telltale signs of strabismus:
1. Eyes that aren’t aligned
Muscles called extraocular muscles surround the eye and help it stay in position so people can see properly. When one of these muscles pulls too hard or not enough, the eye can appear misaligned or crossed. As one eye looks straight ahead, the other eye may look up, down, inward, or outward. This is the most obvious sign of strabismus.
Parents of young children may be the first ones to notice their child has crossed eyes. Other times, a pediatrician may notice it first. If the strabismus is mild, it may be hard to notice at all. If you do notice it, it’s important to have your child’s eyesight evaluated by Dr. Garrana as soon as possible. If left untreated, strabismus could develop into a lazy eye and their vision could be impacted.
2. Turning head to see better
If your child is turning their head when looking at something, they could have strabismus. They may be doing this so their dominant eye can focus on what they’re looking at.
3. Closing an eye when looking around
Does your child close an eye when looking around? This is a sign they’re having trouble seeing. By closing an eye when looking at things, they’re trying to steady their vision. When you bring them in for a comprehensive eye exam, Dr. Garrana will determine the extent of their vision problems and recommend the best treatment.
Other signs of strabismus include squinting in bright light or bumping into things because of limited depth perception.
Treatment is vital to retaining eyesight for years to come. Mild cases of strabismus may be helped by wearing corrective lenses or glasses and by doing eye exercises. Other times, eye surgery is needed. During this surgery, Dr. Garrana changes the position or length of the eye muscles so the eyes align the right way.
Without treatment, strabismus could lead to:
- Lazy eye
- Blurry or double vision
- Eye strain and fatigue
- Low self-esteem
If you or your child have crossed eyes, make an appointment to see Dr. Garrana today.