Can anything be done for adults with strabismus or misaligned eyes?
Yes. Adults can benefit from some of the same treatment options that are available to children for treating squint.
Why do adults get strabismus?
Adults may have strabismus either from a residual childhood strabismus or they may acquire strabismus in adulthood. New squint or misalignment that develops in an adult can result from conditions such as stroke or tumors but frequently there is no identifiable reason.
Is eye straightening as an adult strictly cosmetic?
No. Eye alignment surgery is performed in adults for several reasons. First, strabismus (squint) surgery in an adult may be done to eliminate double vision. Adults may also benefit from improved binocular vision or depth perception. Finally, improvement in the appearance of ocular alignment is sometimes the major impetus for considering surgery. This can lead to significant emotional, social and economic benefits.
Does insurance cover the expense of squint surgery?
Although eye muscle surgery is reconstructive (not cosmetic), one should check with their medical insurance company. Generally, squint surgery is not covered under insurance.
Is eye muscle surgery risky for adults?
Every surgical procedure has some risks. For squint surgery, the most common risks are residual misalignment of the eyes and double vision. Most double vision that can develop after strabismus surgery is temporary; however persistent double vision is possible. Fortunately, the more serious risks of anesthetic complications, infection, bleeding, retinal detachment, and decreased vision are rare. Health risks vary with the general health of the individual. For those in poor health, surgery under local anesthesia instead of general anesthesia may be considered.
How successful is eye muscle surgery?
Most individuals have significant improvement in eye alignment with one surgery. Occasionally the surgery is only partially successful, or changes in ocular alignment may occur over time after initially successful surgery. Additional surgery may be indicated. Correction of double vision may be improved with the use of prism glasses.
How painful is this type of surgery?
Discomfort after eye muscle surgery is usually not severe. Headache, pulling sensation with eye movement and foreign body sensation in the eye are the most common complaints and they can last for several days.
Is hospitalization required for eye alignment surgery? How will this affect normal activities?
Eye alignment surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure although the need for hospitalization varies depending upon general health and surgeon preference. Following surgery most individuals return to nearly all normal activities within 2-3 days.
Who treats misaligned eyes in adults?
An ophthalmologist trained in strabismus (Squint) is the most qualified specialist to treat adults with misaligned.