Question via a email: I’ve had strabismus all of my life. However, I am now soon-to-be 55 years of age, and the strabismus is becoming an issue. Other than when very tired, I’ve never had to consciously bring the double vision together. Now it has become a conscious effort. Any advice you can provide is greatly appreciated.
As I am sure you can understand, I can’t give you any specific medical advice without examining you. However, I can give you some general opinions on cases similar to yours. First, if you have not read Susan Barry’s Fixing My Gaze, I recommend that you do so. It is excellent and will provide you with a great deal of information about a case similar to your own that has been successfully treated with vision therapy. That is not to say that you could have the same result, but you would have a better understanding of your condition and options. If you’d like to come by the office, I will give you a copy.
It is very common for individuals with vision problems to experience a worsening of comfort and control in their 40s and 50s that occurs along with the natural change of reduced ability to see up close. Sometimes this reveals longstanding problems or sometimes it creates new problems. An evaluation is needed to determine the extent.
Generally, in these cases there are many treatment options. One could do nothing, which is what you have been doing previously. One could wear specific glasses or glasses with prism in them to help improve the ability to keep the eyes aligned. One could undertake vision therapy, not to strengthen the eye muscles, but to help coordinate and control them. Finally, in extreme cases, eye muscle surgery is an option.
Elaine, I hope this is helpful. If you have more questions or would like to schedule an exam, feel free to call the office at 813-792-0637.
Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.