Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Strabismus and Mental Health

There's some interesting studies done correlating strabismus, a condition in which the eyes are not properly aligned with each other, and mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.

 According to a study done by the Mayo Clinic, Children with exotropia (eyes pointing outwards) were 3.1 times more likely to develop a psychiatric disorder than were control subjects when monitored to a mean age of 20.3 years. Children with esotropia (eyes pointing inwards) were no more likely to develop mental illness than were control subjects when monitored for similar periods. Patients with intermittent exotropia also were significantly more likely to have greater numbers of mental health disorders, mental health emergency department visits, and mental health hospitalizations and to have suicidal or homicidal ideation.


Depression not otherwise specified, ADHD, adjustment disorder, illicit drug use, and alcoholism were the 5 most common types of disorders. Although depression was similarly prevalent among case and control subjects, dysthymia and major depression were more common among subjects with strabismus than among control subjects. ADHD, adjustment disorder, drug use, major depression, and learning disorders were all more prevalent among children with exotropia, compared with control subjects, whereas eating disorders were the only significantly increased group of disorders among children with esotropia.