Move over wrinkles. Botox has found a new use, and it’s not to help people look younger. All over the country, ophthalmologists are using the drug to correct adult strabismus, or lazy eye. Injected in small doses, Botox can help stop the muscle spasms that cause adults to experience double vision, blurred images, a loss of depth perception, and many other symptoms of strabismus. During the procedure, an ophthalmologist on your vision plan will use a very thin needle to inject Botox directly into the eye muscles. Often, an anesthetic cream is applied to soothe the site of the injection. According to the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Botox lengthens the injected muscle while shortening the opposing muscle, which helps correct many cases of strabismus.
In general, side effects from the treatment are rare, and the effects last approximately three months. Fortunately, the procedure only takes a few minutes in the office and can be repeated as necessary down the road. If Botox treatments sound appealing, tell your eye doctor about all of the medications and supplements you are currently taking so he or she can determine if the procedure is right for you. The foundation suggests that good candidates are generally healthy people who are not pregnant or nursing.