Two-Eyed problems can slow reading
Two-eyed problems can slow reading. A recent study published in the Journal of American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus titled “Fixation Instability and Increased Saccades Slows Reading in Anisometropic Amblyopia” compared the reading rate among children with amblyopic anisometropia (unequal lens strength in glasses), those with non-amblyopic anisometropia, and normal controls showed that children with amblyopic anisometropia read 24% slower than anisometropic children without amblyopia and 22% slower than controls. Further, there was no relationship between reading rate and acuity in the amblyopic eye.
These results support the contention that it is the presence, not the severity, of amblyopia rather than the anisometropia that slows reading rates.
Why not just do surgery? It is the standard of care, right??
Ophthalmologists use surgery as the most common, and often, the only treatment for strabismus. By cutting and then resuturing the eye muscles on the eyeball, they hope to move the eye into a different position and also strengthen or weaken different eye muscles to prevent the eyes from turning in or wandering out.
In 95% of the cases of strabismus, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the eye muscles. The origin of the strabismus lies at the level of signals from the brain to the muscles. Surgery is only a cosmetic solution. Surgery rarely helps the patient learn to use both eyes together.
Strabismus has been known as a neurological problem for many years, as evidenced by a quote from Dr. A. D. Ruedeman in his address to the ophthalmology section at the annual meeting of the American Medical Association in 1956: “The anatomical changes that we find in the eye muscles are minimal and only in rare instances are they of any importance in the total picture… Muscles in my experience are merely the means to an end… proper emphasis should be placed where it belongs… First and foremost comes the brain mechanism… Most strabismic patients have learned to coordinate their eyes incorrectly… and unless the correct method is taught to them, one cannot expect a cure.”
Additional current research (March 20, 2018) supports this statement that strabismus is a brain mechanism. In the Journal of American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus the paper titled: “The Clinical Effect of Surgical Timing in Infantile Exotropia” the authors found that surgery for infantile exotropia (average deviation, 50 prism diopters) done at a younger age was associated with reoperation. In their cohort, after the initial surgery, there was a 66% rate of postoperative alignment, with 92% alignment after the second surgery. Despite this, measurable stereoacuity was achieved in only 20% of patients.
*This last sentence means that despite achieving 92% of apparent alignment, only 20% of the patients exhibited even a partial binocularity!