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Why do people have surgery on their eye muscles?

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People have surgery on their eye muscles to realign their eyes, which eliminates double vision, improves depth perception and restores the normal appearance of the eyes, according to the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, or AAPOS. Strabismus surgery is a reconstructive procedure that typically improves the social and emotional dispositions and the employment prospects of adults. As of 2015, about 4 percent of the nation's residents have a type of strabismus, which is any eye misalignment.

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A single surgery improves eye alignment significantly in most people, explains AAPOS. Although all surgeries carry risks, serious risks of strabismus surgery are rare. Such risks include infection, bleeding, complications from anesthesia, decreased vision and detached retinas. Incomplete eye realignment and double vision are the risks that occur most often. The overall health of individual patients affects the potential that other health risks may occur.

Surgeons usually perform strabismus surgery on an outpatient basis unless patient health concerns or doctor preferences dictate hospitalization, notes AAOS. Surgeons may perform the eye surgery under local anesthesia, instead of general anesthesia, for patients in poor health. Most people resume their day-to-day activities several days after their surgeries, although doctors may restrict patients from engaging in strenuous physical activity and swimming until several weeks later.

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