Adult Strabismus

Adult strabismus is the condition where your eyes are not lined up in the right way, leading them to point in different directions. Wherein one eye may be looking to the front, the other eye may be turning to any other direction. The misalignment is not necessarily linked to just one eye, but it can shift from one eye to another. Since Strabismus causes the eyes not to focus on one stop, it thus affects the vision negatively.

What’s the relationship between the eye’s six muscles and Strabismus?

Each eye has six muscles, to move the eye right, left, up, down, and at angles. And in order for the eye to have a normal focus, all of the six muscles should coordinate their functions and work together.

Causes of Strabismus

Because the brain is the organ that controls the eye’s muscles, there may be one of several reasons that cause the brain to malfunction at this task. Some of those problems can be: 

  • Serious or Chronic health problems such as diabetes, thyroid disease, Myasthenia gravis, brain tumors, or having a stroke.
  • Accidents or head injury.
  • Damage to the eye muscles during a previous eye surgery.

That being said, it should be pointed out that most cases of Adult Strabismus start during childhood, and fewer cases only start later in life.

How Does Adult Strabismus Affect Vision?

In normal sight, the brain receives two images from the two eyes, and then it merges them to form a single 3-D images, and this is how our brains allow us to recognize depth.

In young children who have Strabismus, the brain may be able to ignore the images from the misaligned eye and focus on the image from the non-affected eye.

As for those who have Strabismus after childhood, they do have double vision, because the brain is already trained to receive images from the two eyes, and consequently it’s not able to turn off the images from the affected eye.

Symptoms of Strabismus

The clearest symptom of having this condition is having eyes that seem to be unaligned. Adults with strabismus also may notice some of the following symptoms:

  • Weakness in the eye or around its area, or having a feeling that something is pulling around your eyes.
  • Having to constantly tilt or turn your head to see an image clearly.
  • Visual changes, such as having a double vision, blurry vision, having trouble reading, or experiencing a loss of depth perception.

Those symptoms may persist in time, or they may be temporary.



Unlike Children Strabismus, Surgery is the most common type of treatment for Adult Strabismus, as it can help restore the eye’s alignment and have a better vision for the patient.

During the surgery, the ophthalmologist would work to tighten, loosen, or move some of the eye’s muscles to optimize their functioning. Oftentimes, more than one surgery is needed to treat the condition. 

Eye muscle exercises

Some Eye-muscle exercises can be given to help the eye function better in close tasks such as reading or doing computer work. Those exercises can especially help in cases of “convergence insufficiency”, and their purpose is to teach the eye how to focus inward.

Prism eyeglasses

Prisms are a certain type of lenses that work to bend light rays. It can be helpful for patients who experience mild double vision, and it can help the patient to see one image rather than two.

Botulinum toxin (Botox®)

An injection of Botox® can be helpful for cases of Adult Strabismus as it may serve to paralyze the muscles that prevent the eyes from aligning as they are supposed to. This treatment may last for a few months, as it may also be a permanent solution for the eye’s misalignment problem.