Correcting Lazy Eye Through Surgery

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If you're suffering from a condition known as lazy eye, it means that one of your eyes may appear to be lower or droop down below the other one. Most cases of lazy eye are a result of a disconnect somewhere between the brain's signal and the eyelid, or a muscular development issue with the eyelid. If your lazy eye is caused by the muscles being unable to align your eye correctly, you could be eligible for surgery to get it corrected.

Preparing For Surgery

Before the date of your eyelid muscle surgery, your eye doctor will perform a test known as an orthoptic measurement test. This test is designed to accurately measure your eye movements so they can pinpoint how your eyes move, and determine where the muscles need to be relocated. You will also undergo a basic health check-up to get a snapshot of your overall health and any underlying issues you may be experiencing. The doctor will ask you to stop taking any over the counter medication about ten days before the surgery and avoid eating and drinking about twenty-four hours before the surgery.

Performing Eyelid Surgery

On the day of your surgery, you will receive a general anesthetic that should put you completely to sleep so the surgeon can work. Some people may prefer to just have a local anesthetic applied directly to the surgery site. Your surgeon will make a small cut in the clear tissue that covers the whites of your eyes. Then, they will find the eye muscles that need to be strengthened and remove a section of the tendon or muscle to make it shorter. This process is called resection. If you eye muscle needs to be weakened instead of strengthened, the surgeon will reattach the muscle to a point located further towards the back of your eye. This process is known as recession. 

Surgery Recovery

Once the surgery is complete, you should be able to go home. This type of surgery typically doesn't require an overnight stay, but it is recommended that you have someone drive you home in case your eyes need to adjust. The eyelid of your lazy eye should be immediately straightened and you should notice a difference in your appearance right away. Avoid rubbing or scratching your eyes for at least a full week, until the stitches have completely healed. You'll also be given prescription eye drops to apply to the eyes to help prevent possible infection. In about two weeks, you'll return for a follow up appointment and to address any concerns or questions you may have about the surgery. While eyelid surgery cannot fix everyone suffering with a lazy eye, it is a helpful procedure for many who are coping with the issue. 

To learn more, contact a professional like Todd S. Kirk, MD.