Clinical Services

Adult Strabismus

What is Adult Strabismus?

Eye misalignment, called strabismus, can be residual from childhood or can develop in adulthood. In some cases, a stroke, injury, disease, or tumor may trigger adult strabismus, but often there is no identifiable cause.

Eyes can be straightened at any age, and treatment should be considered if it is likely to enhance quality of life and improve symptoms, including eye misalignment. An ophthalmologist who specializes in strabismus is qualified to treat adults with misaligned eyes.

Causes of Adult Strabismus

Six muscles, controlled by the brain, work to move the eyes. Strabismus occurs when there is a problem with at least one of those muscles. While eye misalignment is often thought of as a pediatric condition, it occurs frequently among adults. About 4% of adults experience it in their lifetime. Adult strabismus could be caused by a stroke, head injury, or another health problem, including diabetes, botulism, thyroid disease, or Guillain-Barre syndrome. Cerebral palsy and Down syndrome are also associated with strabismus.

Symptoms of Adult Strabismus

When strabismus develops in adulthood, patients typically experience intermittent double vision that eventually becomes constant. A patient’s eyes may wander to one side, cross, or be misaligned. As well as causing vision symptoms, misaligned eyes can hurt self confidence and even limit a patient’s social interactions. Our ophthalmologists can quickly treat your condition and improve the quality of your life.

Diagnosis of Adult Strabismus

Your ophthalmologist will discuss your symptoms, conduct a full eye exam, and determine appropriate diagnostic tests. A blood test might be ordered and imaging tests, such as a CT or MRI scan, might be performed. Eye movement tests provide significant information about vision. They can be conducted with a variety of computer technology and other devices.

Treatment of Adult Strabismus

After the evaluation, your doctors will develop a targeted medical or surgical plan to address your strabismus. Treatment options may include prismatic glasses, specialized fusional exercises to regain eye coordination, or strabismus surgery. Most adults with misaligned eyes benefit from surgery, which can usually be performed as an outpatient procedure.

Your doctor will give you specific information related to your particular condition, as well as a detailed description of treatment and instructions on how to make the best recovery.

What you can expect at UTHealth Neurosciences

UTHealth Neurosciences brings together a multidisciplinary team of board-certified, fellowship-trained neuro-ophthalmologists, neurosurgeons, neurologists, researchers, and pain management specialists who work together to help provide relief for even the most complex problems. Your team will share insights, leading to better treatment decisions and outcomes.

We first investigate nonsurgical treatment options, including medical management, pain management, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and watchful waiting. When surgery is needed, our neurosurgeons routinely employ innovative minimally invasive techniques. Throughout the treatment process, we will work closely with the doctor who referred you to ensure a smooth transition back to your regular care. While you are with us, you will receive expert care, excellent communication, and genuine compassion.

Contact Us

At Robert Cizik Eye Clinic, we offer patients access to highly specialized eye and vision care. To ask us a question, schedule an appointment, or learn more about us, please call (713) 486-9400, or click below to send us a message. In the event of an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room.