Treatment for strabismus works to straighten the eyes and restore binocular (two-eyed) vision. In some cases of strabismus, eyeglasses can be prescribed for your child to straighten the eyes. Other treatments may involve surgery to correct the unbalanced eye muscles or to remove a cataract. Patching or blurring the strong eye to improve amblyopia is often necessary.
Very young children with esotropia usually require surgery to realign the eyes.
For accommodative esotropia, glasses reduce the focusing effort and often straighten the eyes. Sometimes bifocals are needed for close work. If significant crossing of the eyes persists with the glasses, surgery may be required.
With exotropia, though glasses, exercises, patching or prisms may reduce or help control outward-turning of the eye in some children, surgery is often needed.
How is strabismus surgery done?
The eyeball is never removed from the socket during any kind of surgery. The ophthalmologist makes a small incision in the tissue covering the eye to reach the eye muscles.
The eye muscles are detached from the wall of the eye and repositioned during the surgery, depending on which direction the eye is turning. It may be necessary to perform surgery on one or both eyes.
Recovery time is rapid. Children are usually able to resume their normal activities within a few days.
After surgery, glasses may still be required. In some cases, more than one surgery may be needed to straighten the eyes.