Advanced Surgical Solutions for Strabismus

Eye muscle surgery for adults and children.

When misalignment of the eyes is present, our experienced ophthalmic surgeon, Dr. Melissa Shipley, MD, FAAP, can help. Strabismus in children and adults is when one eye is focused on an object while the other crosses in, drifts out, floats up, or points down. This misalignment can occur when you look in a particular direction or when you look in all directions. It may always be noticeable, or it may come and go.


When looking at an object, both eyes are in alignment.

Normal eyes


When looking at an object, one eye is deviated inward, or nasally.



When looking at an object, one eye is deviated outward.



When looking at an object, one eye is deviated downwards when both eyes are open.



When looking at an object, one eye is deviated upwards in comparison to the other eye.


Does My Child Have Strabismus?

If left untreated, strabismus can cause visual development in children. However, it can be difficult to detect in a young child, particularly if your child’s eyes do not deviate all the time. Children often do not complain about their vision or eyes when they are misaligned, which means that parents and pediatricians are usually the first line of defense in diagnosing strabismus. Some symptoms to look for in your child include:

  • Squinting
  • Closing an eye in bright lights (photosensitivity)
  • Headaches
  • Head tilts/turns

When the eyes are misaligned, two different pictures are sent to the brain. In a young child, the brain learns to ignore the image of the misaligned eye. This causes loss of depth perception and binocular vision, and often “lazy eye” (amblyopia) results.

If you have any concerns about your child’s eyes, it is important to have a full evaluation by a pediatric ophthalmologist. Depending on the cause and type of eye misalignment, glasses, patching, eye drops, prisms and/or surgery may be recommended. Our pediatric team will conduct a comprehensive eye exam to determine an effective treatment plan.


Strabismus in Adults

Adults with misaligned eyes usually experience double vision and often have trouble focusing when reading or working. Adults also notice visible changes when one or both eyes are deviating. Strabismus in adults can place severe limitations on your life, including inhibiting your ability to drive and work. While glasses and patching can be effective, strabismus surgery, also called eye muscle surgery, is often needed to correct the misalignment.

Adrienne discusses her experience with strabismus surgery


Symptoms of Adult Strabismus

  • Weakness in or around the eye
  • Sensation similar to pulling around your eyes
  • Changes in your vision
  • Double vision (seeing two of a single image)
  • Blurry vision
  • Trouble reading or focusing on a single object
  • Loss of depth perception
  • Tilting or turning of the head to see an image clearly


It’s never too late to treat strabismus. Our skilled ophthalmic surgeon specializes in strabismus and eye muscle surgery and has helped countless patients regain clear vision. Schedule a consultation today and we can work with you to develop a treatment plan that improves your vision and your life.

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Hear from our Strabismus patients

  • "Had my strabismus surgery with Dr. Shipley and I'm so glad I did! No more double vision and my eyes look straight! "
  • "She is a wonderful doctor & person. A doctor who cares deeply for her patients. She is an awesome surgeon - my eyesight is no longer doubled."
  • "Dr Shipley corrected my double vision just like she said she would! "
    Mark L.
  • "My daughter is 7 and has been going to this practice for 4 years. She looks forward to her visits with Dr. Shipley. Thanks for making it fun. Everyone on staff is kind and efficient. Most importantly, we feel our daughter is receiving quality eye care and our questions about glasses, strabismus, and patching have been answered. "
    Susan D.
  • "Dr. Shipley is amazing! I feared I would just have to live with double vision and eventually give up driving. Dr. Shipley operated on my eyes and I am excited to say that my vision is normal once again"
    Sandra V.
  • "Dr. Shipley has been amazing to work with along with the staff. I am active duty military and this was by far the best medical care I ever received, it’s been a year long journey and well worth it. I can now focus my vision and my confidence has been increasing with every passing day! Amazing work!! Thanks to Wilmington Eye . "
    Natoria J.
  • "Dr. Shipley is a wonderful doctor. She listens to your concerns , explains things simply , puts up with your husbands hundred questions . She has done two surgeries on my eye and I am very pleased with her and the results. I highly recommend her. "
    Judy H.
  • "The staff is friendly and nurses are great. Highly recommend Dr. Shipley. She has been great with my little one from the beginning! Dr. Shipley answer all of my concerns before and after surgery."
    America S.
  • "Returned for follow up 1 week after adult strabismus surgery. Eye is healing well and she checked vision and vision has improved greatly. No more double vision. Return in 1 month for follow up and possible release. "
    Robert M.
  • "I had been experiencing a lot of stress and discomfort due to my eyes shifting. I had developed a lazy eye. No doctors had been able to help; that’s until I went to see Dr. Shipley. I got surgery and I am so pleased with my results. My eyes are so straight and I don’t have to strain to focus or be embarrassed by them crossing. I’m so grateful for the care I received. It changed my life!"
    Queen E.
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