Sari R. Schwartz, OD, FCOVD, FAAO

225 Millburn Avenue, Suite 208 B
Millburn, NJ 07041

Sari R. Schwartz, OD, FCOVD, FAAO

(973) 804-6565

225 Millburn Avenue, Suite 208 B
Millburn, NJ 07041

Strabismus & Amblyopia

Strabismus "Eye Turn"

At Vision Development Center of NJ, we provide a non-surgical approach to treating eye turns.

An eye turn (Strabismus) is a condition that makes it difficult to line your eyes up correctly or use both eyes in unison. One eye may appear to turn in, out, up, or down. The eyes may alternate which eye is turned in the wrong direction. Eye turns can change and may only appear after a person becomes tired or injured.

Whether the eye turn is constant or intermittent, Strabismus always requires treatment. It will not go away on its own, and children will not outgrow it.

Possible Symptoms Include:

  • Blurry Vision

  • Double Vision

  • Head Turn or Tilt (favoring the better eye)

  • Rubbing or Closing an Eye

  • Poor Depth Perception (difficulty seeing in 3D - trips often, bumps into things, “misses” the table)

  • Difficulty with Coordination (such as riding a bicycle, driving, or playing ball sports)

  • Avoids Being in Pictures

When the eye turn is left untreated, the eye that turns may also have reduced vision, a condition known as Amblyopia or "lazy eye".

Amblyopia "Lazy Eye"

A “lazy eye” (Amblyopia) is a condition where one eye sees poorly, even with glasses. Usually when parents see an eye that doesn’t seem to line up properly, they think that is a “lazy eye.” As discussed above, that is a condition called an eye turn, or Strabismus.

It is important for parents to understand that while Strabismus and Amblyopia often occur together, you won’t always see an eye turn when your child has Amblyopia. Amblyopia is often caused by Strabismus, but one doesn’t have to have an eye turn to have Amblyopia.  It is also caused when there is a significant difference between how clearly each eye can see.  It can also be caused by deprivation such as a congenital cataract or lid droop (ptosis) which blocks the vision in one eye.

Unless the Amblyopia is caused by Strabismus, it is easy to miss because there don’t appear to be many symptoms.

Symptoms of Amblyopia are similar to Strabismus and Include:

  • Blurry Vision/ Double Vision

  • Head Turn or Tilt (favoring the better eye)

  • Rubbing or Closing an Eye

  • Poor Depth Perception (difficulty seeing in 3D - trips often, bumps into things, “misses” the table)

  • Difficulty with Coordination (such as riding a bicycle, driving, or playing ball sports)

  • Poor Handwriting

Most parents assume, if their child can see things in the distance, that both eyes must be seeing correctly. This is, unfortunately, not always the case. They may only be using their one good eye and ignoring the image from the eye that can't see well. A child may not be aware of the visual challenges they face because they think this is the way that everyone sees. To a child, since they are still able to see out of one eye, they don’t even know their vision is abnormal.

Children are often unaware that their vision is causing their difficulties so it is essential that all children have a comprehensive eye exam before they begin school or as early in the school year as possible.

Treatment for Strabismus & Amblyopia

Strabismus and Amblyopia can often be treated non-surgically with a program, directed by an Optometric Physician in the office, called Optometric Vision Therapy. As a parent, it is important to educate yourself on ALL treatment options, understanding that children do not outgrow eye turns or lazy eyes.

Surgery is not the only way to treat an eye turn and there are more effective treatment options for Strabismus and Amblyopia than eye patching or eye drops. Treatment for Strabismus and Amblyopia is different depending on which doctor you see, and, new research indicates that it is never too late to treat these conditions! It is definitely true, however, that the earlier these conditions and other vision conditions are diagnosed, the easier they are to treat and manage.  

Optometric Vision Therapy has helped many patients achieve better vision in their “turned” or “lazy” eye and can result in straight eyes with 3D depth perception!

office hours

Monday: 7:30 AM - 6:30 PM

Tuesday: 7:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Wednesday: 3:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Thursday: 7:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Friday: 7:30 AM - 3:00 PM

Saturday & Sunday: Closed

Holiday Hours: Closed Federal Holidays

Please call or leave us a message at (973) 804-6565.

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