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Accommodative Esotropia Treatment in Long Island | Optix Family Eyecare

Dr. Joel Kestenbaum

Yes, eyeglasses are one of treatments for accommodative esotropia. But, let me backup for a minute and explain what this long medical word means first, for those that don’t know.

What is Accommodative Esotropia

Accommodative esotropia is an eye condition that develops in patients that are usually farsighted (they have a hard time seeing objects that are close).  When they try to focus on objects that are closer  than what their vision allows them to see easily, they have to work harder to focus on the object. This additional effort that they have to put into focusing is called accommodation.  In some cases this accommodation can lead to the eyes crossing in order to find the correct focus (accommodative esotropia).

Treatment of Accommodative Esotropia

Children are most at risk for developing accommodative esotropia.  Our goal as eye doctors is to always see to it that a child’s eyesight  develops normally.  We want to discover problems at an early stage while children are in their developmental years to prevent permanent vision problems as they grow up.  Because accommodative esotropia is most prevalent in children, parents are strongly urged to have their child’s eyes examined early so they can be treated as soon as possible.

Without proper treatment at a young age, a child is at risk that their eyesight will not develop normally.  Among other things, there can be permanent issues with vision quality, cosmetic disfigurement of the eyes, reduced depth perception, learning disabilities, psychological and behavioral issues….. just to name a few.

Do Eyeglasses Successfully Treat all Cases of Accommodative Esotropia?

Accommodative Esotropia Treatment

In most cases, I find that eyeglasses can successfully treat accommodative esotropia.  The eyeglasses don’t actually correct the eye crossing, but instead corrects the farsightedness.  Once the patients can see close objects better, they no longer have to work as hard to focus on them, and the eyes naturally straighten out.

In some cases, I find that some patients benefit from using bifocals.  This is due to the fact that their eyes are straight when they look at objects that are in the distance, but cross when they try to do closer activities (reading, writing, drawing, etc.).  In some cases, crossed eyes may even occur for objects up close even when kids are already using conventional eyeglasses.  In these cases, bifocals may be very helpful.

The lower half of these bifocals are extra strong to make focusing on the close objects easier while still allowing the patient to view distant objects naturally by using the upper half of their eyeglasses.

If Eyeglasses Don’t Work, What Are The Other Options for Accommodative Esotropia?

Surgery is the “last resort” with accommodative esotropia.  Usually done by an ophthalmologist, surgery on the eye muscles will help improve eye alignment.  But, this is only done when we are sure that eyeglasses and bifocals aren’t working to correct the problem completely.

Surgery for accommodative esotropia will only correct the crossed eyes, not the farsightedness.  As the surgery usually does not eliminate the need for eyeglasses, the patient will still need to wear them afterwards.

For more information or to schedule an appointment for your child, book your appointment using this online form or call Optix Family Eyecare Center, your Long Island eye doctors at 516-931-6330.

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