Who Needs Strabismus Surgery?
Strabismus surgery is a type of eye surgery to correct misaligned eyes. This can occur in one or both eyes, and occurs in children and adults. A misaligned eye, also called a wandering eye, is characterized by an eyeball that is further inward, outward, upward or downward than average. For some people, this condition is always present, while in others it may only occur when the person is tired, stressed, or looking at something closely. In any case, having a misaligned eye can often be treated with strabismus surgery.
When an eye is misaligned it is either due to an eye muscle that is too strong or too weak. In the eye, there are six muscles responsible for movement of the eyeball.
If one of these muscles is too strong, it will essentially tug on the eyeball, causing it to move too far up, down, left or right than it should. Likewise, if one of these muscles is too weak, then it’s not able to work with the other five to keep the eyeball centered, causing it to misalign.
What Happens During Strabismus Surgery?
Strabismus surgery is a procedure that adjusts the either too strong or too weak muscle. How the surgery is carried out depends on the cause of the wandering eye, though a recession procedure can help in either instance. If a muscle is too strong, a recession will involve detaching the muscle from the eyeball. It is then reattached further back on the eye. This lessens the muscles’ pull in relation to the other five muscles. On the other hand if one of the muscles is too weak, a recession procedure may be done on the opposing eye muscle. It’s important to note here that the surgery doesn’t actually occur on the weak muscle. The goal of this surgery is to even out the strength of the two opposing muscles, helping to balance the pull on the eyeball so that it is centered.
The good news is that strabismus surgery is typically an outpatient procedure, meaning no hospital stay is required. This means the patient can go home after it is finished. In fact, most people are able to resume normal activities mere days after the surgery.
Strabismus surgery is a great option for anyone suffering from misaligned eyes. While many people want the surgery for cosmetic reasons, it is not typically considered a cosmetic surgery but rather reconstructive surgery, which means many insurance companies will cover it. That’s because misaligned eyes can often cause double vision, which is a medical issue.
What Happens After Strabismus Surgery?
Patients report some discomfort or pain immediately following the surgery when the eyeball moves, but this can usually be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers. Any pain or discomfort typically clears up in a few days.
Most strabismus surgeries are successful and correct the issue the first time. In some cases, the surgery may be only partially successful, requiring another surgery down the line. Either way, for most folks with wandering eyes, strabismus surgery is a perfect procedure that can really improve the quality of their lives