In our day to day life, we often come across people with misalignment of gaze whom we usually label as “wandering eyed” or “cross eyed”. This condition of misalignment of two eyes is medically referred to as strabismus, where either one or both the eyes point in the same direction. Squint is indeed a common sight that is more commonly seen in children. There are three kinds of strabismus - esotropia, exotropia and hypertropia, any of which can show up in early childhood. Though the exact cause of this disorder is yet to be known, weakness in eye muscle, poor vision in one eye and inflammation of eye muscle is seen as few causes that might trigger squint eye. Strabismus causes discomfort in vision and at times leads to double vision and headaches. It is known to interfere with communication skills as well. Though this kind of disorder is easily detected, checking up with an opthalmologist may help you to treat this problem. Strabismus can be treated by wearing glasses, placing prisms on spectacle lenses, injecting botox and at times surgery.
Strabismus surgery is one of the effective ways to treat squint eyes. It helps to eliminate double vision and improve three-dimensional vision, psychosocial function as well as vocational status. In this kind of surgery, the surgeon uses a combination of muscle strengthening and weakening procedures. Most adult strabismus surgery is carried out using an adjustable stitch technique, whereby the muscles are tied back onto the eye with a bow knot. Combinations of anti-inflammatory and antibiotic drops are administered to the eye for 1-2 weeks after the surgery, to help prevent infection and reduce inflammation. However, strabismus surgery is not totally free of complications. To know more on this, read on.
Complication Of Strabismus Surgery
- Strabismus surgery may at times lead to sclera or perforation of the outer coat of the eye that occurs in between 0.5 - 2.5% of operations. This is a rare complication that can occur as a result of an infection within the eyeball (endophthalmitis) or a retinal detachment, both of which could result in a permanent reduction in the vision of the eye.
- Scleral penetration or perforation is more likely to occur in smaller eyes with thin sclera. Highly myopic eyes or eyes that have undergone cryotherapy also have thin sclera.
- Another possible risk of strabismus surgery is loss of muscle, if the muscle is not secured firmly to the outer coat of the eye, during surgery. In this case, the muscle withdraws backwards behind the eyeball and can trigger severe complications, if not found out. This complication is more likely to occur in redo operations.
- Endophthalmitis caused due to the surgery may lead to lethargy, asymmetric conjunctival injection, eyelid swelling and possibly fever within 4 days of surgery.
- Strabismus surgical procedure can lead to complications such as infection, bleeding and scarring of eyeballs. One may also experience discomfort due to intrusion of foreign bodies in the eye.
- Anterior segment ischemia is another rare, but potentially serious complication of strabismus surgery, that usually shows up in adults who have undergone surgery on multiple rectus muscles.