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Br J Ophthalmol 95:450-453 doi:10.1136/bjo.2010.188425
  • Review

The psychosocial effects of adult strabismus: a review

  1. Ian B Marsh2
  1. 1St Paul's Eye Unit, Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Liverpool, UK
  2. 2University Hospital Aintree, Walton Hospital, Rice Lane, Liverpool, UK
  1. Correspondence to Mr J M Durnian, St Paul's Eye Unit, Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Prescot Street, Liverpool L7 8XP, UK; jondurnian{at}me.com
  • Accepted 23 August 2010
  • Published Online First 18 September 2010

Correction of adult strabismus is not a cosmetic procedure but one that restores normality to an individual's appearance that has been altered by a disease process. Two fundamental principles underpinning facial attractiveness are symmetry and averageness—manifest strabismus affects both of these giving an unconscious signal of poor genetic history. The presence of manifest strabismus adversely affects many aspects of patients' lives including finding a partner, job prospects and interaction with peers, and may manifest more seriously as psychiatric disorders. Surgical correction has been shown to be safe and effective for the functional problems of strabismus in adults but the hugely positive effects on the psychosocial aspects are only now becoming apparent. The advent of a new adult strabismus specific quality-of-life questionnaire and its subsequent validation will make this quantification of improvement easier. The wider medical community and the public at large should be made aware of the benefits of corrective strabismus surgery in adults.

Footnotes

  • Linked articles 188326, 185793.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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