The sun is a source of life for all living beings. However, the ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun are harmful to our skin as well as our eyes.

Prolonged exposure to the sun without protection increases the risk of various eye diseases such as cataracts, macular degeneration (yellow spot disease), pterygium (growth of tissue on the cornea), and certain eye cancers.

Especially when near the sea or pool, sunlight reflected from the water can cause a condition called photokeratitis, which is characterized by redness, sensitivity to light, and in some cases, temporary vision loss.

Wearing sunglasses not only makes it easier for us to see in the sun but also protects us from these diseases.

When buying sunglasses, besides being a fashion accessory, we should pay attention to certain features that will protect us from the mentioned harms of the sun. These include:

– It should have 99-100% UV protection.

– It should block both UV-A and UV-B rays.

– It should have a slightly wide frame to protect the eyes and the surrounding area from the effects of the sun.

– Choosing a darker lens color does not necessarily mean better protection from the sun. Opting for a darker color can actually decrease your vision.

– Especially for sports activities or being by the seaside, you should choose polarized sunglasses that prevent glare and reflection for added comfort.

– Buying an expensive pair of sunglasses does not necessarily mean it provides better protection. The important factor is the UV blocking capability.

– You should protect your eyes from the sun not only in the summer months but throughout the year. Even on cloudy days, it is known that there is still UV reflection from the sun. It is essential to protect your children from the harmful effects of the sun as well, and the use of hats and sunglasses should not be neglected, especially for babies.

Despite all these precautions, there is one situation where sunglasses cannot protect you from the effects of the sun: during a solar eclipse. Never, under any circumstances, should you watch or let others watch it. It can cause photokeratitis and retinal damage that can result in vision loss.

What is Strabismus, its symptoms, and treatment methods?

What is Strabismus?

Strabismus, also known as “crossed eyes” or “squint,” is a condition where the eyes are misaligned and do not point in the same direction. It occurs due to an imbalance in the forces exerted by the six extraocular muscles responsible for eye movement. The misalignment can occur horizontally, vertically, or torsionally. Strabismus can be present from birth or develop later in life. Some conditions and diseases that can cause strabismus include:

– Uncorrected refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism)

– Previous febrile illnesses (seizures), head trauma

– Cerebral palsy

– Hydrocephalus

– Brain tumors

– Nerve paralysis due to vascular diseases like hypertension, diabetes

– Certain neurological conditions (myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis, etc.)

– Genetic predisposition

– Down syndrome

– Reduced vision or vision loss

Symptoms of Strabismus:

Strabismus can occur at any age, but it is most commonly observed in childhood. In children, the misalignment may sometimes appear as “pseudostrabismus” due to the flat bridge of the nose and incomplete facial development. This can be distinguished during an eye examination, and the appearance resolves as the child grows older.

In true strabismus, if left untreated, the misalignment does not disappear with age.

The most common complaints leading to medical consultation for children and adults with strabismus include:

– Double vision

– Covering one eye in bright light

– Blurred vision

– Turning the head to one side while looking

– Headaches

– Eye pain

– Loss of depth perception (inability to catch objects extended towards them)

Strabismus can be classified based on the direction of misalignment: inward, outward, or vertical. It can also be categorized as congenital (present at birth) or acquired (developed later in life). Depending on the causes, it can be associated with refractive errors (correctable with glasses), paralytic (due to muscle paralysis), or restrictive (related to conditions like thyroid disorders or orbital fractures).

Diagnosis of strabismus requires an eye examination, but sometimes, the condition may be noticed by family doctors, families, or the individual themselves. In all cases, specialized measurements and tests need to be performed by an ophthalmologist or an eye specialist.

Is Strabismus Treatable?

Strabismus is a treatable condition.

If the cause is refractive error, sometimes simply correcting the refractive error with glasses can improve vision and correct the strabismus.

For cases where glasses are not sufficient to correct strabismus, surgical treatment options are available. In patients who require glasses, the amount of misalignment that glasses cannot correct can be corrected surgically. However, the patient may still need to wear glasses after surgery.

In strabismus surgery, the imbalance in the muscles responsible for turning the eye is corrected to restore parallel alignment. While some cases can be corrected with a single surgical procedure, depending on the extent and nature of the misalignment, two or more staged surgeries may be necessary.

In certain paralytic strabismus cases, non-surgical treatments such as botulinum toxin injections and prism glasses can be used as adjuncts or alternatives to surgery.

In children with strabismus, the age of the child should not be a reason to delay treatment. For example, if strabismus occurs before the child reaches 12 months of age, the results can be much better. By achieving parallel alignment of the eyes at an early stage, visual acuity can improve, three-dimensional vision can be preserved, and the likelihood of regression in the child’s future development decreases due to early diagnosis and intervention.

In adults with strabismus, especially if there is no underlying neurological disease, surgical treatment can provide both cosmetic and functional benefits. It can help individuals move more comfortably in social and public settings.