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Eye and Vision Care

Turm in Eye

10/06/2009

Question:

I have a turn in my eye that I didn`t know I had until I seen my eye doctor. He said that is why you also have the head tilt. He ran some tests and also found that I only use one eye at a time. The turn in my eye has gotten worse because other people has noticed the turn and the head tilt has gotten worse. The tilt has gotten so bad that I get pain and stiffness in my neck. It gets realy bad while I am at the computer. My eye doctor told me that he don`t recomend surgery because it is not permanent. I am waiting to get more test done. What other treatments are there for an adult with a turn in their eye this bad?

Answer:

As I am not familiar with your case, I can not give you a very specific answer.

The first question that should be answered is what is causing your eye turn. Eye turns like you describe can occur for several reasons. Some of these include head injuries, strokes, or brain tumors; while many of these types of eye turns are congenital (have been present since birth).

As you say that your doctor does not feel that your eye turn is permanent, this suggests that your eye turn may be due to a head injury or a stroke. If this is the case, the healing process can take up to 12 months. During this time the size of the eye turn can change. After 12 months, the size of any remaining eye turn is typically more stable, and surgical correction of the eye turn becomes more feasible.

On the other hand, the fact that you "use one eye at a time" suggests that your eye turn has been present for a long time (perhaps since childhood or birth).

Treatment options for eye turns depend on the type and the cause of the eye turn. Non-surgical treatments can include special glasses with prism included, glasses that cause the vision to be blurry in one eye, use of an eye patch, or eye exercises (orthoptics/vision therapy).

Good luck. Hopefully you and your doctors can come up with a treatment that will reduce the symptoms that you have been having.

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Response by:

Andrew J Toole, OD, PhD, FAAO
Clinical Assistant Professor of Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University