Strabismus is a deviation of the eyes which usually appears in infancy and affects 5% of children. Early treatment is necessary to avoid loss of vision in the deviated eye, known as a lazy eye or squint.

Definitive treatment is achieved by operating on the muscles in some cases and in others by using glasses. Nowadays, strabismus which can be corrected by glasses can be treated using the Lasik surgical technique, whereby laser is applied.

What is strabismus ?

Strabismus occurs when one of the eyes is not aligned with the object which it is looking at, deviating inwards (endotropia), outwards (exotropia), or less frequently, towards other positions.

What symptoms does it produce ?

Initially, the most common symptom is double vision and children frequently blink or adopt abnormal positions of the head (torticollis). Within a short space of time, mechanisms are put in place to cancel out the vision of the deviated eye to avoid double vision , which then results in a reduction in vision, known as a lazy eye or squint.

What are the causes ?

Inheritance plays an important role in strabismus, which often appears between the ages of three and four, or less frequently during the first months of life. In addition , strabismus can be accommodative, as a consequence of hyperopia and non-accommodative, which stems from an abnormal use of the muscles which move the eyes.

How is it treated ?

Covering up one eye, contrary to what is popularly believed, does not correct strabismus,it is used to recuperate the vision in the lazy eye. In order to straighten the eyes, if the cause is abnormal muscular function (non- accommodative), the treatment is surgery on the eye muscles. On the other hand, when the cause is hyperopia (accommodative), the initial treatment is to wear glasses or contact lenses, but when these are removed the deviation of the eye reappears. For many years now, the Hoyos Ophthalmological Clinic has applied LASIK technique to correct hyperopia in patients over 18 years of age, which also manages to straighten the eyes in accommodative strabismus.