May 31, 2021
In an ideal world, our eyes – which are two separate entities – will work in perfect synchronization. However, the reality is that many people find that their eyes don’t cooperate as well as they could. There are a variety of reasons why this might happen, from eye injuries or disease to brain or problems at birth. Oftentimes, when the eyes don’t work together perfectly it’s because they are misaligned.
Strabismus and Eye Misalignment
Strabismus is the name given to the visual disorder in which the eyes are misaligned and point in different directions. It is the most obvious form of eye misalignment since you can usually tell someone is affected by the condition simply by looking at them. One eye will focus on the object of their attention, while the other may appear to be pointing elsewhere. Some people will find that one eye becomes their dominant/fixed eye, while the other roams, and in this case, the fixed eye nearly always has better vision. However, others may find that either eye can become fixed and, in this instance, vision in each eye is likely to be equal.
In childhood, the brain still has the capacity to ignore one of the images, meaning that their vision seems clear to them. Strabismus in adults nearly always results in double vision, as the brain has been trained to receive images from both eyes. This can result in a variety of symptoms – symptoms that are the same as another condition characterized by eye misalignment, known as binocular vision dysfunction.
What is Binocular Vision Dysfunction and What Does it Have to Do with Eye Misalignment?
Patients with binocular vision dysfunction, or BVD as it’s sometimes known, also have misaligned eyes, but their misalignment is usually too subtle to be able to tell by looking at them. To try and counteract the misalignment and the two images that are seen in different planes, the eyes and brain automatically work harder to try and create a single picture. This puts them under strain, and it is this that causes the symptoms associated with BVD.
Symptoms of Eye Misalignment and Binocular Vision Dysfunction
There is a huge range of different symptoms associated with BVD, some of which patients find to be quite surprising. They include:
Eye fatigue, especially when focusing on near work
Sensitivity to light
Skipping lines or losing your place easily when reading
Struggling to comprehend what you are reading
Most of these symptoms are a result of the strain that is placed on your visual system, which is made worse when you are exposed to high levels of visual stimulation. For example, many people with BVD experience a rush of symptoms, when they go into a busy, noisy place as the visual and audible stimulation, overwhelms them. It’s the same story when traveling in a vehicle.
Fortunately, there are treatments that can help with eye misalignment. If you suspect that you or your child may be suffering from eye misalignment, don’t suffer unnecessarily.
Learn more about signs & symptoms of eye misalignment, contact East Main Vision Clinic in Puyallup, WA at (253) 780-0700 to schedule an appointment.