Adult strabismus is a misalignment of the eyes in a person who is beyond their teenage years. Often times this is secondary to a pediatric problem that was never fully addressed. Other times though, adult strabismus can be a new problem that occurs in a fully grown person. The causes of adult strabismus include thyroid eye disease, head trauma, a spontaneous breakdown of old childhood strabismus, vascular disease (blood flow problems), brain tumors and other neurological conditions. Sometimes though, it occurs without an identifiable cause. If you have diplopia (double vision) see your ophthalmologist or optometrist. If they cannot solve your problem they will refer you to a pediatric ophthalmologist and strabismus specialist.
Adults may be referred to Dell Children’s Eye Center for treatment of strabismus. Strabismus is a misalignment of one or both eyes where one eye looks straight ahead and the other eye looks in a different direction. This can cause diplopia (double vision) or confusion where one object appears to be on top of the other. This can be secondary to a long term childhood problem or it can occur as a new problem in an adult. In adults, strabismus is most commonly caused by thyroid eye disease, old childhood problems, head injuries with cranial nerve palsies, diabetes, and rarely brain tumors or strokes.
Adult Thyroid Eye Disease
Thyroid disease can cause multiple vision and eye problems. These include bulging eyes, dry eyes, eyelid retraction, double vision and even loss of vision. These problems are usually addressed by a general ophthalmologist. When the symptoms have subsided, except for double vision, the patient is then referred to a pediatric ophthalmologist and strabismus specialist. With time, the double vision can resolve, but some patients ultimately need eye muscle surgery.
Head Injuries; Cranial Nerve Palsies; Diabetes; Brain Tumors; Strokes
Each of these conditions, can cause strabismus (misalignment of the eyes) and diplopia (double vision). Usually, the diagnosis is made by your physician, ophthalmologist or optometrist. Referral to our center may be considered for treatment of persistent strabismus or diplopia. Treatment may include prism in glasses, patching and/or eye muscle surgery.