Can You Control Mild Exotropia With Contact Lenses?

Exotropia is a condition that occurs when one or both of your eyes diverge outward from your point of focus, creating a "bug-eyed" appearance either intermittently or constantly. This drifting, particularly if it is intermittent, may be mild enough that you don't even register a change in your vision, but it will still be noticeable to those around you. Although severe cases of exotropia will likely require surgery to be treated effectively, you may be able to reduce or even eliminate your intermittent exotropia through the use of contact lenses.    

Understanding What Causes Exotropia

The movement of each eye is controlled by six extraocular muscles, which work in pairs to guide your vision and keep your eyes focused on a subject. When those muscles degenerate or have trouble communicating with each other, problems like exotropia can arise. These vision alignment disorders are more generally known as strabismus and include other conditions like crossed eyes. Despite being generally benign, strabismus disorders can be upsetting for both you and passerby and lead to a loss of self-esteem as a consequence. 

Determining the Severity of Your Exotropia

If your eyes are constantly misaligned or drift to extreme angles, basic corrective measures likely won't be enough to see meaningful results. Have your eyes examined by an experienced optometrist or strabismus specialist to get a better idea of your unique circumstances and the options available to you. With some luck, you may be able to avoid surgery and instead rely on refractive lens correction paired with physical therapy to control your exotropia.  

Experimenting With Contact Lenses

Traditionally, mild exotropia has been treated through the use of specialized prescription eyeglasses, which work by forcing your eyes to focus through a corrective lens instead of doing the work themselves. This takes the pressure off of your eye muscles and can quickly fix minor alignment issues. More recently, it has been shown through case studies that contact lenses designed to accommodate exotropia can provide even better results than glasses and rule out the need for surgery in borderline cases. These lenses follow the same principles of refractive correction as eyeglasses, but they may put less strain on your eyes and result in a more natural vision adjustment.

Talk to your optometrist about the lens options available to you based on your degree of exotropia. He or she may also recommend eye exercises to strengthen your extraocular muscles, treating the problem from both sides. With so many stylish and unobtrusive treatments at your disposal, there is no reason to continue living with your exotropia and the self-consciousness it can cause. Start seeking corrective lenses (from an outlet such as The Eye Center) for your condition today to bring your eyes back into alignment and begin focusing on your future.