Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can surgery fix a lazy eye?"
My daughter is six months old, and her eyes are often out of synch. I'm worried she has a lazy eye. If she does, is there a surgical procedure we can use to correct it?
Lazy eye can have several different causes in children. Definitive diagnosis of the cause of your child's esotropia will require consultation with your pediatrician and/or pediatric ophthalmologist (eye doctor). Lazy eye, or esotropia, is a common problem in young children. It is normal for very small infants to have some degree of esotropia, as their vision systems mature. However, persistent esotropia is a problem that should be evaluated rapidly, as it can lead to permanent vision loss. Most cases of esotropia do not require surgery to fix. After your doctor has ruled out a more serious underlying condition (which would be rare), they may prescribe a series of simple eye patches to 'train' the lazy eye to align properly. Some drugs and corrective lense wear can accomplish the same goal. After a trial of eye patching or another form of eye 'retraining' therapy, most cases of esotropia in children resolve. However, in rare cases, patching or corrective eyewear is not sufficient, and surgery is required. In these cases, your pediatrician or ophthalmologist will refer you an appropriate specialist who will determine if the muscles that control eye motion should be re-aligned surgically. As always, the first step in evaluating your child's condition, should be a discussion with your pediatrician...
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