It’s now been three weeks since my eye surgery, and my eyes have completely cleared up and are looking normal again. Simce 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 much lighter in weight and I can pick out pretty frames. My (executive/lined) bifocal has a weaker prescription as well. With all of these changes, I received a new diagnosis for my eye condition.
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, and when I was fourteen, my vision went into a downward spiral. This has been attributed to the onset of Chiari Malformation (CM), 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 just had one form of strabismus. Doctors had previously believed I had idiopathic vision loss or a condition other than CM that could be causing this, even though there is evidence of it on MRIs. However, the diagnosis of decompensated strabismus was confirmed by my neurologist and ophthalmologist following my surgery and led to further evidence that CM is a factor in my vision loss, though not necessarily the cause of it.
The surgery weakened one muscle in each eye and gave me the ability to see distance and eliminate my double vision, though I still see double when I am not wearing glasses or if I am tired. I can see about fifty feet directly in front of me clearly with glasses, and I can recognize faces and text from twenty feet away. 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.
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 see single images for the first time in six years when I put on my new glasses a few hours later. It’s a whole new world.