According to Eyes Apart, approximately two to four percent of America's population is affected by strabismus, or crossed eyes. If your child was recently diagnosed with strabismus, your eye doctor might be discussing various treatment options with you. Some are more invasive than others, and before you consider surgery, realize there are other ways to treat this common issue. Here are a few possible treatments for strabismus, including vision therapy:
Eye Glasses, Contact Lenses, or an Eye Patch
Crossed eyes are typically caused by weakened eye muscles, an issue with the nerves connected to the eyes or a condition that impacts the part of the brain that controls eye movements. In many cases, your child's eye doctor might recommend your child wear eye glasses or contacts.
Eye glasses or contacts will only be effective if your child is diagnosed with accommodative esotropia. Individuals with this condition are actually farsighted, and they appear cross eyed because they are trying so hard to focus on a single object. The glasses and contacts will help correct your child's vision, which in turn will correct their crossed eyes.
If your child has only one crossed eye, your eye doctor might recommend they wear a patch over the stronger eye. This will force the weaker eye's muscles and nerves to compensate for the covered dominant eye. This treatment can eventually cause the weaker eye to correct itself.
Whether your child's strabismus is caused by weak eye muscles, severe farsightedness, or issues with the nerves that control the eyes, they can still benefit from vision therapy. During vision therapy sessions, the optometrist will use a series of exercises and games that are aimed at helping your child's eyes, eye muscles, nerves, and brain work together more effectively.
In addition to several computer-based therapies, here are a few of the exercises and activities your child might encounter during their vision therapy sessions:
If your child was diagnosed with strabismus, it is important to realize that surgery isn't your only option. These are only a handful of treatment options your eye doctor will have available. Your optometrist may also provide you with some exercises and games to try at home as well. If you're interested in vision therapy as a safe, non-invasive way to treat your child's crossed eyes, don't hesitate to contact an optometrist in your area, such as those at Absolute Vision Care, and ask if vision therapy will help your child.
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