Adults with Strabismus

There are six muscles on each eye that control movement of the eye, and the brain helps to control and coordinate the eye muscles. When the coordination of the eye muscles is poorly functioning, eye misalignment also known as strabismus occurs. Adults may have strabismus either from a residual childhood strabismus or they may acquire strabismus in adulthood.

Strabismus, or eye misalignment, can cause eye strain and sometimes cause disabling double vision. Studies have shown that strabismus can affect adult's social interactions, self-confidence, and may even affect employment opportunities. Realigning the eyes is "reconstructive" and not strictly "cosmetic" and can help to improve quality of life for people.

What to Bring to Your Visit with the Adult Strabismus Specialist

In general, any prior and recent operative reports, prior brain imaging studies, and any childhood and also more recent eye exam records are helpful. If you have used prism glasses, please bring those glasses with you. You may wear contacts to your exam if that is what you typically wear; please just bring your backup pair of glasses in case we ask you to take out the contact lenses. If you are especially sensitive to lights after dilation, consider bringing along somebody to help drive you home.

What to Expect During a Strabismus Exam for an Adult

A complete eye exam will typically last about 1 hour from the time you enter the exam room. Your entire medical, ocular, family, and social history will be reviewed as well as any current medications. The examination will start with a measurement of your vision, pupils, stereoacuity, and also you will be refracted to get the most up-do-date prescription. Your ocular motility, and measurement of eye alignment in different head positions and distances will be carefully assessed.

Oftentimes you will then be given eye drops to dilate your pupils to further evaluate the structures in the back of the eye, and sometimes to assist with a refraction. Dilating drops may make the eyes light sensitive and difficult to focus, especially up close, for several hours.

The goal of the examination would be to evaluate your current ocular alignment problem, provide a diagnosis, and recommend a treatment plan, whether that entails observation, further testing, prism glasses, and/or eye muscle surgery.