Can you go blind from strabismus?

Answered by Edward Huber

It is possible to go blind from strabismus if it is not detected and treated early. While strabismus itself does not directly cause blindness, the condition can lead to a condition called amblyopia, also known as “lazy eye.” Amblyopia occurs when the brain starts to ignore the visual input from one eye because it is misaligned or not focusing correctly.

When a person has strabismus, their eyes do not align properly, causing one eye to deviate from its normal position. This misalignment can result in double vision or blurred vision. In response to this, the brain may begin to suppress the visual input from the misaligned eye to avoid confusion and maintain single, clear vision.

If left untreated, the brain’s suppression of the misaligned eye can lead to permanent vision loss in that eye. This is because the visual pathways in the brain do not fully develop, causing the eye to become functionally blind. The longer the misalignment and suppression persist, the greater the risk of irreversible vision loss.

Early detection and treatment of strabismus are crucial in order to prevent the development of amblyopia. Treatment options may include eyeglasses, eye exercises, patching the stronger eye to encourage the weaker eye to strengthen, or in some cases, surgical correction of the misalignment.

Personal experiences and situations:
I have had personal experiences with strabismus as I was diagnosed with the condition when I was a child. Thankfully, my parents noticed the misalignment of my eyes early on and took me to an eye specialist. I underwent various treatments, including wearing eyeglasses and patching my stronger eye, which helped to correct the misalignment and prevent the development of amblyopia.

However, not all individuals are as fortunate. I have seen cases where strabismus went undetected or untreated, leading to permanent vision loss in one eye. It is heartbreaking to witness the impact this can have on a person’s life, as they may struggle with depth perception, coordination, and overall visual function.

To summarize, strabismus can potentially lead to blindness if it is not detected and treated early. The misalignment of the eyes can result in amblyopia, where the brain suppresses the visual input from the misaligned eye, leading to permanent vision loss. Early intervention and treatment are essential to prevent this outcome and preserve visual function.