What can be done to fix strabismus?
After time, treatment can help your child have normal vision. The earlier the treatment starts, the better.
The goal of treatment is to make the weak or wandering eye do more work and get stronger. This could mean that the child has to wear corrective glasses. Or the child might wear a patch on or have eye drops put in the "good" eye, forcing the weaker eye to work harder. Your child may not like to have these treatments because at first the weak eye doesn't see as well as the other eye. Even if your child doesn't want to wear glasses or an eye patch, the treatment is very important. It can help your child see better as a child and as an adult.
Some children need an operation to straighten their eyes. The operation is usually considered only after using the treatments listed above. The surgery is fairly simple, but it doesn't always make the eyes exactly straight. Sometimes it has to be performed again later on.
How long does treatment last?
The earlier treatment starts, the easier it is to fix the problem. So watch for signs that your child doesn't see well, or for eyes that cross or wander apart. Usually, treatment will go on for months or even a few years. Sometimes less patching (or fewer eye drops) will be needed as time goes by. Since the most important part of treating strabismus is to force the weak eye to work harder, it's very important that you follow your doctor’s directions for eye patching or eye drops. If you have questions, always ask your family doctor.
Pediatric Vision Screening for the Family Physician by P Broderick (American Family Physician September 01, 1998, http://www.aafp.org/afp/980901ap/broderic.html)
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff