What is strabismus and its types?

Suppose it is detected and treated before the age of four. In that case, strabismus prognosis is very good because brain plasticity is greater in young children, and it is easier to correct the alterations and recover lost vision.

The strabismus is an alteration in the eyes’ alignment to the focus so that parallelism is lost between the two, making both eyes do not point in the same direction at the same time. It affects, therefore, both eyes.

However, the most common is that one of the eyes has better visual acuity and focus in front, while the other, with less visual acuity, will be the one that is located in a non-parallel position. The non-dominant eye’s position defines several types of strabismus; Thus, if this eye deviates towards a position internal to the optic center, it is known as convergent strabismus if the deviation is external divergent strabismus, and if it is superior or inferior, it is called vertical strabismus.

Strabismus can be constant or appear intermittently and only under certain circumstances, such as when the patient is tired or nervous, or feels ill, or related to the distance they need to focus on objects.

Types of strabismus

Two types of strabismus are also distinguished according to the preference or not for one eye. In this case, the alternating strabismus occurs when the patient uses one or the other eye indistinctly to fixate while the other deviates. Although the affected person’s brain suppresses the image of the deviated eye, when the eyes alternate, both develop a similar and quite good visual acuity.

In the case of monocular strabismus, however, the patient always uses the same eye for fixation and constantly deviates from the other, which favors the appearance of amblyopia (loss of vision) in the deviated eye.

Strabismus in children

Strabismus is an eye disorder that lacks coordination of the eyes that causes one of them strays and is unable to focus at the same point as the other at the same time.

This alteration in visual motility is very common in children (affects 2-5% of the preschool population). Although it is normal for ocular deviations to occur during the first month of life, they should consider pathological if they persist after three months.

Strabismus in children can be congenital (it is present at birth) or appear soon after. It must be diagnosed and treated early to avoid accentuating it and causing loss of vision in one of the eyes.

This loss of vision, known as amblyopia or lazy eye, occurs because the brain removes information from the eye that is diverted to avoid double vision, with the ignored eye’s consequent loss of visual acuity.

In addition to the obvious cosmetic consequences, which can damage the child’s self-esteem, strabismus involves serious alterations in visual acuity and binocular vision, so the pediatrician must perform an ophthalmological examination to detect the presence of the disorder and refer it. As soon as possible to the specialist for evaluation and treatment. Before the age of four, and although there are no indications to suspect any pathology, a complete ophthalmological examination should be performed on the child to rule out any abnormality since the prognosis is significantly better if the strabismus is diagnosed and treated early.