An estimated 4 percent of people in the United States have some form of strabismus. Many of those affected are children. This eye disorder, also known as crossed eyes, causes a noticeable misalignment of the eyes. If your child has been diagnosed with strabismus, consider the following 3 non-invasive treatment solutions.
People suffering with strabismus often appear to be looking straight at you with one eye while their other eye is severely turned inward. Other symptoms of this disorder include:
Problems with reading
Because of the problematic symptoms of strabismus, people are usually treated for this condition early in life. While surgery is a treatment option, most eye doctors prefer to try other non-invasive procedures first. One proven non-surgical alternative is vision therapy.
The theory of vision therapy is based on the brain's amazing capacity to alter its function, as well as its configuration, when faced with an outside stimulus. A well-developed vision therapy treatment program can often effect positive changes in the brain that eventually reverse strabismus. A comprehensive vision therapy plan consists of activities that will allow your child's brain to better control:
Focus on objects
These activities may require your child to utilize:
In addition to vision therapy, wearing an eye patch has also been shown to effectively treat strabismus. While vision therapy may require visits to an eye doctor's office, eye patch therapy can be completed at home. During treatment, you will need to carefully secure an eye patch over your child's eye that isn't affected by strabismus.
The covered good eye will not be able to detect any light. Therefore, your child's affected eye will be forced to carry the entire burden of seeing. If treatment is successful, the muscles in your kid's problematic eye will become stronger. Even better, your child's eye might align itself in the correct position.
If your child has a mild case of crossed eyes, he or she may only need to wear the eye patch for 2 or 3 hours each day. The patch shouldn't be worn during sleep. For more severe cases of strabismus, optometrists often recommend that children wear eye patches for as many as 6 hours every day. Corrective eye patches can be worn safely for many months or even years.
Many young kids initially object to wearing an eye patch. However, most children learn to adapt to wearing this new piece of equipment quickly. If your child refuses to wear the eye patch at first, your optometrist might recommend that you put one on as well. By seeing you wear the device, your child might be more accepting of it.
Some parents may not be comfortable with placing a patch over their child's eye for several hours each day. In these cases, atropine is a good alternative. This drug is administered to your child in the form of eye drops. Atropine drops function similar to an eye patch because they cause the vision in your child's good eye to be temporarily blinded. While your child can't use his or her good eye, he or she is forced to depend solely on the eye that is crossed.
If your child is suffering from strabismus, you might feel heartbroken. Fortunately, many children who are born with strabismus can be successfully treated and go on to live healthy normal lives. One or more of the aforementioned 3 non-invasive treatment options might be able to reverse your child's condition. To learn more about these treatment opportunities and other treatment alternatives, make an appointment with a trusted local eye doctor at a place like Country Hills Eye Center today.