Strabismus
 
Strabismus, more commonly known as cross-eyed or wall-eyed, is a vision condition in which a person can not align both eyes simultaneously under normal conditions. One or both of the eyes may turn in, out, up or down. An eye turn may be constant (when the eye turns all of the time) or intermittent (turning only some of the time, such as, under stressful conditions or when ill). Whether constant or intermittent, strabismus always requires appropriate evaluation and treatment. Children do not outgrow strabismus!
 
Who has strabismus?
It is estimated that up to 5 percent of all children have some type or degree of strabismus. Children with strabismus may initially have double vision. This occurs because of the misalignment of the two eyes in relation to one another. In an attempt to avoid double vision, the brain will eventually disregard the image of one eye (called suppression).
 
Children with strabismus and amblyopia (lazy eye) must be identified and treated at a young age to obtain the best chances of restoring normal visual acuity in the presence of amblyopia and/or constant strabismus. Thus, the first examination should be performed just after the visual system has completed maturation, so treatment can be initiated immediately, if necessary. This is the period of time in which the visual system is most easily modified.
 
Children do not grow out of eye turns. Proper diagnosis and treatment is necessary. Vision Therapy and treatment will depend on the condition and individual.


Current News - Strabismus and the Benefits Achieved Through Vision Therapy 

 


Meet Susan Barry, a professor of neurobiology in the department of biological sciences at Mount Holyoke College and the author of "Fixing My Gaze: A Scientist's Journey Into Seeing in Three Dimensions."  Her story illustrates the obstacles she overcame, through therapy, to develop the skills needed to succeed and fully enjoy life.

Susan R. Barry - "Fixing My Gaze"

 

 

When neuroscientist Susan Barry was fifty years old, she took an unforgettable trip to Manhattan. As she emerged from the dim light of the subway into the sunshine, she saw a view of the city that she had witnessed many times in the past but now saw in an astonishingly new way.


 

 

Skyscrapers on street corners appeared to loom out toward her like the bows of giant ships. Tree branches projected upward and outward, enclosing and commanding palpable volumes of space. Leaves created intricate mosaics in 3D. With each glance, she experienced the deliriously novel sense of immersion in a three
dimensional world.                                                              
Click the image above to visit Sue Barry's Blog
 

 

Barry had been cross-eyed and stereoblind since early infancy.
Click here to read more about her story


- Reviews and Commentary-
 
"Seeing the three-dimensional world with two-dimensional retinas presents the brain with two problems. To locate an object in space requires depth perception, which can be acquired from one eye alone through size, perspective, and motion parallax. Stereopsis is an entirely different quality that gives the world dimensionality; it requires binocular vision. Strabismus is the main reason for disrupted stereopsis, although binocular vision fails to develop in a few ostensibly normal persons. This book is about what people with disrupted stereopsis are missing and how the condition can be remedied even late in life."
Click here to read more on this review

- New England Journal of Medicine


"I was 20 years old and a college student before I learned that I did not see the world like everyone else. I had been cross-eyed as a baby, but three childhood surgeries made my eyes look straight. Because my eyes looked normal, I assumed I saw normally too. But, in fact, I was stereoblind -- unable to see in three dimensions.
 
That means I could not see the volumes of space between objects. Instead, things in depth appeared piled one on top of another, making me feel nervous and confused in cluttered environments. As a child, I didn't understand why my friends were so entertained when they looked through a View-Master. I didn't see Disney characters or Superman popping out at me. All I saw was a flat image."
Click here to read more on this commentary


- Los Angeles Times


"This book could change other people's lives likewise. It will surely persuade people with eye alignment problems to seek optometric therapy. It will surely alert some parents of underperforming or difficult children to a possible source of their problems. With the added evidence it offers of the brain's perennial plasticity, this book will encourage us all because it suggests that if people can reconstruct pathways of vision, there are other things they might succeed in doing. It is a pleasant and optimistic thought indeed, that at any point in life we might, if determined enough, be able to fix things, improve, mend, and grow in positive ways: even to see more clearly, and not just with our eyes."
Click here to read more on this review


- Barnes and Noble

 - Excerpts From One-On-One Interview With Sue Barry -

How long before you saw definitive progress?

I began to see progress within the first month. My gaze appeared more stable and I began to notice pockets of space between objects.
 

In "Fixing My Gaze" you mention several vision therapy activities such as Marsden Ball, Brock String and  Vectograms. Is there one activity that was your favorite?

My favorite activity was the Brock string because it gave me the feedback to learn how to point my two eyes simultaneously at the same place in space. I could feel my eyes moving in concert and this was very exciting. The first time I saw stereo depth in the Polaroid vectograms - it was the clown vectogram - was also very special.
 

Now that you've had stereopsis for several years, do you find yourself at times taking it for granted as most people do?

No. My vision continues to improve and I have taken to walking everywhere just so I can feel myself moving through this three dimensional world. I am still surprised by what I can see. One advantage, I suppose, of not having stereovision for half a century is that I never take my vision for granted. I feel like I have been given a great gift.
 

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else you'd like add before we go?

I hope my book will teach people that the brain is capable of rewiring at any age, will broadcast the importance and effectiveness of optometric vision therapy, and will help many children as they progress through school.
 
Click here to read the full interview
 
- Second Interview With "Stereo Sue" -


Nicknamed "Stereo Sue," Dr. Barry's experience was featured in a New Yorker article by eminent neurologist Oliver Sacks, M.D. Now, Dr. Barry has published a book, "Fixing My Gaze," about her journey into the three-dimensional world. Review asked Dr. Barry to describe her experience and talk about how vision therapy completely changed her view of the world.
 
Click here to read the full interview


- Two eye are better than one - Oliver Sacks on the blessings of stereo vision -
 
Article taken from the June 19, 2006 issue of The New Yorker :
 
"When Galen, in the second century, and Leonardo, thirteen centuries later, observed that the images recieved by the two eyes were slightly different, neight of them appreciated the full significance of these differences.  It was not until the early eighteen-thirties that the English scientist and inventor Charles Wheatstone began to suspect that the disparities between the two retinal images were in fact crucial to the brain's mysterious ability to generate a sensation of depth--and that the brain smoehow fused these images automatically and unconsciously..."
 
Click here to read the full article