Strabismus Surgery, Treatments
Strabismus surgery is performed to correct a misalignment of the eyes, a condition called strabismus. Strabismus is also known as "wandering eye" or "crossed eyes." The two eyes do not line up in the same direction and do not look at the same object simultaneously. Esotropia is a type of or eye misalignment in which the eyes deviate inward and are "crossed." Exotropia refers to eye misalignment in which the eyes deviate outward. Eyes can also deviate upward or downward.
There are six outside (extraocular) muscles that control eye movements. When eyes are misaligned in the case of strabismus, it usually means that one or more of the eye muscles are either too weak or too strong, thus causing the eyes to not work in tandem.
As a first line of treatment, adults and children with mild strabismus may do well with glasses and eye muscle exercises to help keep their eyes straight. However, if these types of non-surgery treatments do not prove to be successful, strabismus surgery becomes the next line of treatment.
Ophthalmic surgeons at North Shore-LIJ Health System provide pediatric strabismus surgery and adult strabismus surgery for more advanced cases of strabismus as treatment options if eyeglasses and/or therapy don't correct the eyes' misalignment. If strabismus has occurred in adults because of vision loss, the vision loss will need to be corrected before strabismus surgery can be successful. Children younger than 10 will very likely need a second or third strabismus procedure to maintain the best possible eye alignment.