People with crossed eyes can stop hurting from the taunts and jeers of their otherwise well meaning friends and acquaintances.
A single, simplified surgical procedure allows for such eye position to be corrected in the recovery room or up to a week later, often avoiding re-operation, according to researchers from Boston's Children's Hospital (BCH).
"Often, people with complex, disfiguring strabismus (misalinged or limited movement of one or more eyes) can become socially isolated and develop neck and back problems from having to turn their head to see properly," the journal Archives of Ophthalmology reports.
A team led by David Hunter, chief of ophthalmology at the BCH, conducted the procedure in a group of patients with complex strabismus who could not move an eye outward.
They had to tilt their head far to the side, causing problems with balance, according to a Children's Hospital statement.
The new procedure enables outward eye movement by repositioning a muscle that normally moves the eye up. "This simplified procedure for a complex and disfiguring problem is changing the lives of these children and adults," said Hunter.
"In transposition surgery, we take a force that's moving the eye up or down and translate some of it over to the side, by moving the muscle over," Hunter explains.
While existing procedure can correct eye position, it may require surgery on several muscles, causing lengthy recovery, and sometimes overcompensates for the problem, which again necessitates several operations.