Normally, both eyes look at the same spot and vision axis are parallel to each other. The loss of this parallelism and two eyes looking at different directions is called diplopia (cross-eyed). The ability to track object-light with eyes and focusing the eyes on a target generally develops at third month. During this period, transient and small misalignments can be considered as normal. However, if there is a suspected misalignment after three months, then an ophthalmologist must visited. Liv Hospital Ulus Ophthalmologist Prof. Dr. Umit Beden explained diplopia.

Children and adults can have diplopia

Diplopia can be seen in both children and adults. Misalignment observed in childhood may not be related with another cause or can be accompanied by other conditions (cataract, eye tumors or neurological diseases) that disrupt vision. Therefore, eye examination is required immediately after diplopia is noticed. In childhood and infancy, diplopia can manifest with each eye focusing on different spots or closing one eye in dark and sunny environments or tilting the head to one side in daily life. And double vision is the most important symptom in adulthood.

Underdevelopment of the nasal bridge might give the appearance of diplopia in many babies. Therefore, it is wrong to assume that diplopia during infancy would recover in time. In case of such suspicion, the baby must be examined by an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. If there is diplopia indeed, it is unlikely to recover in time. Additionally, healthy visionary development of both eyes would be hindered in babies with diplopia and it is important to start treatment early to prevent this. Otherwise, lazy eye condition that can develop in one or both eyes will become permanent.

Normally, it is recommended that every healthy child should have their first eye examination between 6 months and 1 year. In addition to this, eye examination to be performed at the age of 3 is very important in terms of the treatment of any potential lazy eye condition. When diplopia is diagnosed, the goal of the treatment is to enable the healthy completion of the visionary development of the child. Therefore, eyeglass prescription, covering treatment and surgery can be planned. Instant treatment is not possible for childhood diplopia, a long-term follow up will be required. In case surgery is planned, it will not be an alternative to eyeglass prescription or covering treatment; eyeglass use and covering treatment may continue after the opeation.

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