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Strabismus Versus Amblyopia
Contrary to popular perception, strabismus and amblyopia are not the same condition. They are similar, and both tend to affect children within the same age range; however, they have different root causes. Occasionally, these conditions appear around the same time, and it can be difficult to tell which one brought about the other. In some cases, strabismus can cause amblyopia, and, in others, amblyopia can cause strabismus. For this reason, early eye examinations for children are important.
If your child (or you, yourself) is exhibiting any symptoms of strabismus or amblyopia, please contact us for an examination, so we can diagnose your child’s vision problem and recommend an appropriate vision therapy treatment plan.
Strabismus is the medical term for the misalignment of the eyes. Commonly referred to as cross-eyed or wall-eyed, strabismus may involve either one or both eyes turning inward, outward or even up or down. It is one of the most common vision conditions in young children, affecting somewhere between 2 and 4 percent of the population.
Symptoms of strabismus typically reveal themselves in children between the ages of 1 and 4. In some cases, children with strabismus experience double vision or low vision in general, and those who may be too young to vocalize their discomfort may tilt their heads or squint frequently. Many children will not report vision problems on their own and, typically, parents or teachers notice a misalignment of the eyes.
What Causes Strabismus?
Strabismus can have many different causes. In particular, strabismus is often caused by abnormal functioning of: the part of the brain that controls eye movements, the nerves that transmit signals to the muscles or the eye muscles themselves. It can also be caused by certain general health problems, eye conditions, head injuries, refractive errors or, in part, family history.
Types of Strabismus
Common types of strabismus include the following:
Esotropia is the most common cause of childhood strabismus. It tends to appear very early on in a person’s life — primarily occurring in infants — and involves one eye turning inward, toward the nose, instead of aligning with the second eye and looking straight ahead.
Exotropia often appears in children between the ages of 1 and 6. Exotropia occurs when one eye turns outward, away from the nose. This type of strabismus is commonly referred to as walleye.
Hypertropia is considered the least common form of strabismus. This form of strabismus, also referred to as vertical deviation, is characterized by one eye turning upward, toward the eyebrow.
Strabismus Treatment Options
Treatment for strabismus is tailored to address the initial source of the problem and can vary depending on the severity of the eye misalignment.
One of the most common treatments for strabismus is eye patching. If the same eye consistently turns in the same direction, a patch may be placed over the regularly functioning eye. In this way, patching may be used to train the weaker eye to do the “seeing” work in place of the stronger eye. Patches block out all light and, over time, may strengthen the eye and restore alignment. Depending on the case, children may be recommended to wear a patch anywhere from only a few hours a day to, occasionally, more than six hours each day.
How Vision Therapy Can Help With Strabismus
Vision therapy involves an individualized, non-surgical treatment program that is designed to help correct or improve certain eye conditions, including strabismus. Treatment will vary, depending on the eye condition and the patient’s unique visual needs. Specific exercises — including ones that address eye alignment, eye teaming, focusing abilities and more — can be used to help manage strabismus and realign the eyes.
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I highly recommend this business for their specialty services, care, professionalism and promptness. If you have any learning problems, dyslexia or anything of the sort, try Dr. Jong and her team to check your eyes. My niece was falling a lot but had 20/20 vision; Dr. Jong and her team figured out her problem and she no longer falls. My daughter was having problems with math. Dr. Jong and her team figured out why and her math scores went up. I had problems reading Latin and it's due to a form of dyslexia. Specialty glasses help fix that problem as well. Dr. Jong has a lot to offer the community and I highly recommend her. This is my first online review ever!!
Dr. Jong and her skilled, experienced staff always give friendly and personal attention to this patient. My eyes have been in her care since 1985 and its has been very good care. I believe the Center has all the latest examination and diagnostic equipment. My annual visit with Dr. Jong and her staff is a great confidence builder.
The most caring people you will ever meet. It is an awesome feeling to have someone who understands what your child is struggling with and actually has a solution to your problem. I recommend anyone that has a child with a learning disorder to schedule an evaluation. You will be amazed!
It's been years since my last exam. Dr. Jong was friendly, informative and thorough throughout the exam. The staff at Advanced Eye Center were polite and caring. There was no waiting time and I was out of the office with a new prescription within 30 minutes of arriving.