In strabismus, the eyes are not parallel in their position and Motion.
It is supposed that one eye may become weaker than the other, or that the visual axis of the two may not be adjusted alike, so that one eye perhaps the more defective one turns aside to escape the distorted vision, or possibly the injury to itself which would follow the attempt to make eyes of unequal power work evenly together. The opposing muscles lose their counterbalancing force, and the internal rectus, gaining the preponderance, draws the eye inward, for the squint is more often convergent than divergent; that is, the eye turns in more often than out. Both eyes sometimes squint.
Treatment. In recent cases there is some chance of curing this complaint without a surgical operation. The patient should not be in the society of other squinting persons, so as to learn it by imitation.
In the first place care should be taken that the bowels are kept in good condition, and that the general health is well fortified by bathing, tonics, and exercise. The patient should be made to stand before a glass, and while he closes the sound eye, look steadily at some object with the squinting eye. Let him do this till the eye is a little tired; then let him open the sound eye, when the squinting one will turn aside. But by compelling it, in this way, several times a day, to work in a straight line, it may, perhaps, be taught to remain parallel with the other.
Nervine tonics, as strychnine (86), (94), (95), (316), will sometimes do good service; and electro galvanism has been found useful in many cases.
But in old and obstinate cases, the only cure is found in dividing the muscle which pulls the eye to one side, the internal rectus, if the eye is drawn in, the external rectus, if it is drawn out. INSERTIMAGE
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