Correct Crossed Eyes with Strabismus Surgery

Strabismus, or crossed eyes, is a condition in which one eye is misaligned while looking straight an object. This condition can be intermittent or constant, and at Broberg Eye Care in Austin, TX, our doctors provide different treatment options, including surgery, to correct this problem. Our team adheres to a conservative approach, always performing the least invasive treatment possible to address our patients’ concerns.  Contact us today to learn more.

Strabismus occurs when the two eyes fail to work together cooperatively. The condition is characterized by a misaligned eye that is positioned inward, outward, upward, or downward. In some patients, strabismus always affects the same eye. In other cases, strabismus alternates between the two eyes.

Strabismus is often present from childhood. However, it is possible to acquire the condition as an adult. This can be a result of a stroke, a tumor, or thyroid eye disease. However, there is not always an identifiable cause.

The types of strabismus are categorized according to the direction of the misalignment. The four types include:

  • Esotropia: The most common form of strabismus, esotropia, is characterized by one eye turning inward rather than looking straight ahead. Typically, this type of strabismus is apparent from a very young age.
  • Exotropia: Also referred to as walleye, exotropia occurs when one eye turns outward. Symptoms typically appear between the ages of one and six.
  • Hypertropia: Sometimes called vertical deviation, hypertropia is far less common, and is indicated by an eye that turns upward.
  • Hypotropia: This type of strabismus is portrayed by an eye that turns downward.

If strabismus is obvious and noticeable, it is called large-angle strabismus. Typically, patients who experience constant large-angle strabismus do not experience side effects, because the brain does not attempt to straighten the eyes. Over time, this condition can cause severe amblyopia (lazy eye) in the turned eye.

Less obvious cases of strabismus are referred to as small-angle. This type of strabismus is more likely to result in additional symptoms because the brain is attempting to overcompensate. If small-angle strabismus only occurs in one eye, it can lead to amblyopia. Symptoms of small-angle strabismus can include:

  • Headaches
  • Eye strain
  • Discomfort when reading
  • Fatigue from reading
  • Unstable vision

Aside from the cosmetic and psychological ramifications that accompany strabismus, it is also a health concern. In some cases, misaligned eyes can lead to double vision or other problematic eye conditions. For this reason, it is important to seek treatment from an ophthalmologist. Fortunately, there are treatments that can address the condition in children and adults. Non-surgical options may include prismatic glasses, eye exercises, or Botox® injections to relax the surrounding muscles.

The most common and effective treatment for strabismus is surgical correction. The majority of patients who undergo strabismus surgery enjoy significant improvement. Some may need a secondary surgery, particularly if changes in alignment occur over time. However, most individuals note marked success after just one procedure. Surgery is an excellent option for patients of all ages. Treatment does not typically require an overnight hospital stay, as it is an outpatient procedure.

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