Thursday, February 11, 2010

People who have strabismus (an eye turn) often manifest suppression. This means that the weaker eye will "turn off" or be ignored by the brain. It is a coping mechanism for when the turned eye would otherwise cause double vision. Now, the problem with this is when a surgeon or vision therapist corrects the positioning of the eyes there is no visual benefit if one eye is suppressed.

So what can be done? There are a number of techniques that can be implemented to correct suppression. First off, passive therapy can be used to stimulate the use of the weaker eye. The strong eye is patched, forcing the suppressing eye to work. In addition to passive therapy, active therapy, guided by an eye doctor can help treat suppression. Peripheral fusion is usually treated first working toward central vision as therapy continues.

When treating strabismus eliminating suppression is a first step to achieving healthy binocular vision. (Photo courtesy Mattox)

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