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Eye and Vision Care

Causes of Superior Oblique Palsy

06/10/2010

Question:

I`ve just been diagnosed with Superior Oblique Palsy and I`m wondering if having PRK surgery 4 years ago could have brought this on. Shortly after the surgery I started noticing a problem with my vision that was improved if I covered one eye. Then I started noticing that I couldn`t watch t.v. on my side laying down....I would see double.

Then it progressed to I can`t see well....either distance or reading without covering one eye and now I have to patch one in order to function normally.

Could that surgery have done anything to cause this or is it coincidental?

Answer:

Thanks for a great question!

I learned about Superior Oblique Palsy (SOP, also known as Brown's Superior Oblique Tendon Sheath Syndrome) when I was an optometry student in the 1960's. So it has been around for a while. At that time, we learned that it was usually caused by a congenital abnormality; although other less-likely causes were arthritis, retinal detachment surgery (scleral buckling bands), and sinus infections/surgery.

When you had your PRK surgery, no muscles around the eye would have been affected. Therefore, I do not think the PRK caused your SOP.

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Response by:

Robert D Newcomb, OD, MPH, FAAO Robert D Newcomb, OD, MPH, FAAO
Professor Emeritus of Clinical Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University