It’s now been three weeks since my decompensated strabismus eye surgery. My eyes have completely cleared up and are looking normal again. Since I now have glasses with a prescription (read part 1 here), I can really see a huge difference in my vision from before the surgery. I don’t have prism in my glasses anymore, so they are more lightweight. My (executive/lined) bifocal has a weaker prescription as well. With all of these changes, I received a new diagnosis for my eye condition.
What is decompensated strabismus?
Decompensated strabismus is a condition where a pre-existing strabismus is aggravated by strabismus from another condition. I have had accommodative esotropia, a common form of childhood strabismus, since I was three years old. When I was fourteen, my vision went into a downward spiral. This has been attributed to the onset of Chiari Malformation, a brain condition that causes chronic pain, migraines, and strabismus.
With both my brain and eyes fighting for control of my eyes, my vision got worse than if I had one form of strabismus. Doctors had previously believed I had idiopathic vision loss. However, the diagnosis of decompensated strabismus was confirmed by my neurologist and ophthalmologist following my surgery. This is further evidence that Chiari is a factor in my vision loss, though not necessarily the cause of it.
- How I Explain Chiari Malformation
- Explaining Chiari Malformation in Seven Words or Less
- Life with Chronic Migraines
What the surgery did and didn’t correct
The decompensated strabismus surgery weakened one muscle in each eye and gave me the ability to see distance and reduce my double vision. I can see about five feet directly in front of me with glasses, and I can recognize faces and text from three feet away. This was more than double than what I could see before. The surgery did not correct my limited peripheral vision, lack of depth perception, or my print disability. I also still need a tint in my glasses to help with light sensitivity, though it is not as dark as before.
- How Tinted Glasses Help My Light Sensitivity
- Two of Everything: My Life with Double Vision
- What I’ve Learned About Print Disabilities
Am I glad I had decompensated strabismus eye surgery?
I am so glad that I had this surgery and that my ophthalmologist was able to improve my vision so much. When I went to get my glasses made, the employees at the store looked at my new prescription and my previous prescription, and joined in my excitement when I was able to put on lightweight glasses with pretty purple frames. It’s a whole new world!