Causes and Treatment of Pediatric Strabismus By Eric Del Piero on February 17, 2018

If your child has been diagnosed with pediatric strabismus – or misalignment of the eyes – it is a natural reaction to be concerned and worried. However, with today’s medical advances, treatment is easier now than ever before. At Monterey County Eye Associates in Monterey, CA, we offer a wide range of procedures in pediatric eye care, including pediatric strabismus treatment.

a group of young schoolchildren running on the playground

Types of Strabismus

Strabismus is present in about five percent of the population. There are three primary types of this condition. Esotropia occurs when one of the eyes is turned inward. The other eye could also be turned toward the nose, or it could be in a typical position. This type of strabismus can occur at birth, or it can develop by the time the child is two or three years old.

  • Exotropia occurs when one eye is turned outward. This condition is hardly ever present at birth, as it typically develops later on.
  • Hypertropia refers to a vertical type of strabismus. In this case, the axis of one eye either strays upwards. This condition is referred to as hypotropia if the eye strays downwards.

What Causes Pediatric Strabismus?

Strabismus is a condition that can occur for a number of reasons. In some cases, it is simply due to the eye’s inability to focus. In other instances, there may be an abnormality present in the nerves or muscles surrounding the eye. More rarely, strabismus can be the result of a cataract or tumor inside the eye.

Diagnosing Pediatric Strabismus

Your child can be diagnosed with strabismus at any age. However, if you notice a problem when they are young, it is important to seek medical attention right away. Your ophthalmologist can let you know if and when treatment is necessary.

Diagnosing the problem in a timely manner is crucial, as strabismus can lead to serious eyesight issues, such as defective binocular vision or vision loss in the affected eye.

Non-surgical Treatments for Strabismus

If your child’s strabismus is due to focusing problems, then eyeglasses can be used as part of the corrective treatment. In cases where the turned eye has partial vision loss, temporarily weakening the strong eye will help the affected eye improve. This can be achieved by placing a patch over the affected eye for several hours a day. However, it is important to note that in many cases, surgical intervention is required to properly treat strabismus.

Surgical Treatments for Strabismus

When a young child requires surgery, it can be a frightening ordeal for the parents. However, strabismus surgery is quite routine, and is the most successful form of treatment. To perform the procedure, a tiny incision is created in the tissue that covers the eye before the eye muscles are repositioned so that the misalignment can be eliminated. During this process, the muscles may be moved, strengthened, or weakened, depending on the desired result. Most children have little to no problems following the surgery and return to their normal activities within a few days.

Learn More about Pediatric Strabismus

If you think your child may be suffering from strabismus, schedule a consultation right away. Our doctors can help you determine the health of your child’s eyes and will recommend any necessary treatment. To speak to a team member or to schedule an appointment, contact us online or call our office at (831) 375-2020.

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The team of doctors at Monterey County Eye Associates

Monterey County Eye Associates
Monterey Bay Eye Center

Our team of ophthalmologists provides state-of-the-art eye care using the latest technology. They are proud to be affiliated with: 

  • AAO: American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • ABO: American Board of Ophthalmology

To schedule an appointment at one of our four ophthalmologist office locations in Monterey, Salinas, and King City, contact us online or call (831) 424-1150.

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