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  • Will patching my eye a few hours a day for adult strabismus cause permanent damage?


    I am 62 years old and have had double vision for over a year that happened out of the blue. I am both nearsighted and farsighted and had no problems until now when I began working on my computer from home. I saw an orthoptist who finally told me that one eye is higher than another. In other words, when I look at something just with my right eye and then just with my left eye, my left eye moves upwards to see the object. Because I work on my computer a lot, she patched my left lens and I am able to work with little discomfort or problems. I find when I switch back to long distance bifocals, it takes a while to refocus. Will using just the one eye at least five hours a day cause permanent damage?


    It is likely you have a vertical eye misalignment that you are intermittently controlling, and intermittently not controlling, causing you to see double while you work on the computer. Patching your eye five hours a day makes the double vision disappear, but it may decompensate your control of the misalignment. And you have poor depth perception while occluding one eye. There may be better options for you such as prism glasses or eye muscle surgery. You should return to your orthoptist or to a pediatric ophthalmologist who also treats adults with eye misalignment (strabismus) and inform them your double vision is getting harder to control. Your orthoptist is very likely affiliated with an ophthalmologist with specialty training in this area.

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