Sunday, April 20, 2014

Strabismus - depression and anxiety

depression and anxiety are prevalent in patients with strabismus - Dr. M.K. Randhawa, optometrist, Vancouver, BC
Sometimes eye health is also mental health.  A new study from The British Journal of Ophthalmology looked at the psychological and social well-being of 220 patients with strabismus.

In patients with Strabismus, the two eyes do not line up together properly to look at the same object.  In some people with strabismus the condition can be very obvious to any onlooker who will immediately notice that the eyes are clearly misaligned, crossed or turned outward or turned inward.

Strabismus is often called "crossed eyes" when the eyes are turned inward towards the nose or "wall eyes" when the eyes are turned out towards the wall.  However, it is important to be aware that in some cases strabismus is only obvious to an eye doctor but still must be taken seriously and treated. Alternative names for strabismus include, crossed eyes, esotropiaexotropia, hypotropia, hypertropia, squint, walleye, misalignment of the eyes, comitant strabismus, noncomitant strabismus.

The authors of the new study found that 11% of strabismus patients experienced clinical depression and 24% experienced clinical anxiety. Negative beliefs about the condition were chiefly responsible for these numbers, even more so that clinical factors such as double vision.

The study rings true given our experience treating many patients with strabismus in our Vancouver eye clinic.

The study highlights the need for doctors to pay attention to the psychological and social aspects of strabismus when treating patients, as these factors are significantly correlated to the patient's well-being.


The British Journal of Ophthalmology
Factors Associated With Quality of Life and Mood in Adults With Strabismus

Br J Ophthalmol 2014 Jan 03;[EPub Ahead of Print], HB McBain, KA Mackenzie, C Au, J Hancox, DG Ezra, GG Adams, SP Newman