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I Have Strabismus And It Has Had A Negative Impact On Me.

So I'm turning 16 in a few weeks and I have suffered from Congenital Alternating Exotropic Strabismus. Basically I was born with Strabismus and only one of my eyes move outwards/ they're misaligned  at one time but both wander. 
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Info box-
HOW ONE GETS IT:
Congenital Strabismus: The person was born with it
Acquired Strabismus: The person developed it later in life

WHICH EYES WANDER:
Bilateral Strabismus: Both eyes wander at the same time
Unilateral Strabismus: Only one eye repeatedly wanders
Alternating Strabismus: Both eyes wander but not at the same time

DIRECTION OF MOVEMENT:
Esotropic Strabismus: The eye wanders inward
Exotropic Strabismus: The eye wanders outward
Hypertropic Strabismus: The eye wanders vertically

Pseudostrabismus: Is false. It looks like they have strabisumus, but they just have a wide flat bridge of the nose that makes it appear as though they are slightly cross-eyed.

Amblyopia: Or known as lazy eye, this is usually when a person has such bad vision in one eye that they no longer use it and they only use the good eye when focusing. The eye will eventually lose strength so it permanently wanders and often times will lose vision too.
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I despise the fact that I have it. I mean, I know that since I was born with it, I should embrace the fact that I have it and well since I've lived with it all my life I should be accustomed to it but
Nope.

People are scared of me and they think I'm a freak. This is most of the reason why I'm so shy, introverted, have social anxiety and am pretty much scared of talking to anyone because I know that my eyes aren't normal and I'm freaking the other person out. I can't give people direct eye contact and they think I'm just being rude when I really am not, I'm just .. scared I guess and don't want to scare anyone away.

You're probably wondering why I didn't get the surgery. Well, my parents found out when I was about 3 months old and my doctor referred them to an optometrist who wanted my parents to allow me to have the surgery done but my mum was in disbelief and said no.

She went to multiple optometrists for multiple opinions and they all said the same. The reason why my mum didn't want me to have it was because she thought I was too young, I could end up blind and because it wasn't affecting my health or anything so there was no reason to.

I wasn't really teased or bullied in school. I'm from a pretty accepting area and I love Australia. It was more like, I was left out of things. I was the freak, that weird silent kid with the crazy eyes that no one wants to talk to. Because no one wanted to talk to me, I basically didn't speak at all most of the times. I was silent, invisible.

I did have a few friends though and they were wonderful. I loved them all. I was still shy around them and didn't talk very much because there was always a part of me that said that they still think I'm creepy but they're just being nice.

It didn't help that I have hand-eye coordination problems and I was hopeless at sports and I hated that too which made me last to be chosen in sports. I don't remember much of it when I was younger. I'm in high school now and I do have some friends within a group but generally don't have anyone that close to and I'm insecure and everything. I'm known as the girl who's silent, sits by herself and all. Some people try to be nice to me but I kind of reject them/ push them away because a part of me says they're faking it. 

I hate taking photos.

I wish I could just be normal.

I can imagine people saying 'Whoa, what the **** is wrong with her eye?' and .. -sighs-

I became really negative in 2011. I fell depressed and it didn't help that I looked like a freak or so I told myself. I couldn't ask for help, make friends or anything because I'm afraid of rejection and they'd think my eye was creepy. I don't think I can ever get a boyfriend. It freaks me out so imagine how it freaks other people out. I'm online most of the time and would love to make friends and webcam and stuff but my freaking eye. I'm scared that they'll freak out and just disconnect and that hurts. I'm not used to my eye because when I stand close to a mirror or maybe focus closely on anything, my eyes align so that they're normal. I step back and one of my eye turns, it's not the same eye, it could be any. 

So I'm basically left insecure and lost. I want that surgery so badly. Also, I want braces. And to move schools. I want to be normal. Accepted.

If you have Strabismus or doesn't mind people who have it, then I'd love to be your friend ^_^ There aren't many people in the world out there that are like this. I don't know anyone who does. 
AShadowWolf AShadowWolf 16-17, F 17 Responses Feb 15, 2013

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Finally,I can say someone understands what I go through.... I have the same exact story of yours ,and well I'm 19 now and its now I'm understanding what I really have by researching it online, Like you I just want to be normal, and not having that unintentional antisocial part of me because of Strabismus.

I have strabismus. It sucks

I also have strabismus, the one Where one eye turns outward. It never affected me as a Teenager. Now i am 26 and it really gets me. I've had a surgery but you can still tell that i have this condition. I want to Start a relationship but i can't imagine that a woman will find me attractive. It sucks. If someone can help me i would be very thankfull. All the best to you people.

i have lived with strabismus since birth and i once had surgery but that was a surgery for cataract. so my eyes were left like that and today it has made the worst impacts of my life. it is really hard to live with it, but one must try all ways to see. i believe there is always a solution for everything.

how in the world do you guys read? im in the recovery phase of my surgery, and i couldnt do it before and it hurts while im doing it (but my surgeon said that will be normal for some time)..... how do you guys talk normally and think and stuff holy.

I am 22 and I had Strabismus till two years ago, I had exact problems that you had. I was isolated, shy, and alone. I lived my teenage years in asia and in high school other kids used to tease me and make fun of my eyes that's the culture there can't do nothing. That brought me to tears several times and I was heart broken. I thought, I would never be able to get loved by any girl, yeah that's right my confidence level was disaster. Even my parents didn't help my feelings and kept telling me that's the way I am and have to deal with it till the rest of mylife. Well I didn't give up. At the age of 19, did some research on strabismus, found a doctor by myself and had a surgery. Now I am completely normal and free from all those stuff I was going through. I even have a beautiful girl friend but I never told her about my past, I have zero photo from those years.
My massage to you is that never give up on your hopes, I can see you posted this one year ago and I wish you already feeling great about yourself.

I have Congenital Unilateral Esotropic Strabismus..and I did not know those terms until you shared them with me. I am 26 and I want you to know that I was doubtful of many things at your age. Who will love me? Who will accept me? Everyone is worried about this, whether they will experience intimacy or isolation. Everyone goes through both, including people like us.<br />
<br />
My younger self would have had an easier time if he knew of the fun and caring friends, smart and beautiful lovers, and rewarding jobs he would have over the next ten years. <br />
What I did know, however, what that other people had the same insecurities as myself. No one needs strabismus to silently wish someone would talk to them and make them feel accepted. Everyone goes through that just by being a person. Know that what you want is what everyone wants, and give that to them. Give them someone to talk to and hang out with, and they will be very grateful.<br />
I have met women with strabismus, both more and less extreme than my own, and they were also surrounded by great people that they dated and were friends with.<br />
Take charge of your life. Look people in the eye, ask them about themselves, and answer their questions about your eyes as though it's as normal as any questions you've asked them about their hair, weekend, or schoolwork. Because it is normal.

I can also relate to your story. I didn't understand that I had no depth perception and why I was terrible at sports. My self confidence has suffered greatly. I want nothing more than to look people in the eye and feel confident. We have to be able to love and accept ourselves. That said, I'm 35 and I think I'm going for surgery. My alignment isn't that bad according to the doctor, but it gets in my way mentally. My advice to you is to talk to your parents. If it is anything like my upbringing, we just didn't talk about it. My mom never knew how much it bothered and affected me. I wish that I had done something about it sooner. That seems to be an ongoing theme around here. Learn to love yourself and be happy but I would suggest speaking to a doctor to find out your options. On a side note- I've had lots of boyfriends! People still love us as we are. It's just tough to love and accept ourselves sometimes. Good luck!!!

i have this problem too GOD its so disgusting to live with strabismus i have no confidence.. dont go out of home. have done double masters but havent applied for any job .. cuz am so shy and nervous. my life sucks

I hope to convince you, it's not that bad, really. Of all the things about my appearance that I did not like - eyes didn't make the list.
When I was about 70 my eye doctor commented that wearing "Transitions" glasses was a good idea so people would not be so easily able to see my eyes. But that's not why I did it, I got them when I was about 50 because I didn't want to be bothered with sunglasses AND corrective glasses for old man eyes.
Life does not suck!

I have congenital alternating exotropic strabismus, and I can totally relate to your story. I remember being really nervous about how people saw my eyes, and I was teased some growing up. And needless to say, I was never that good at sports :-p. I didn't have a boyfriend in high school, but I think that was more because I was so nervous about what people thought of me that I didn't put myself out there. As I got older and felt more comfortable talking about my eyes with my friends, I learned that they didn't really mind them. When people who love you look at you, they see you, no matter what your eyes are doing. Now, I'm 28, been married for a year, and even with my strabismus, my husband says he loves my eyes. Stay strong! :)

I could have written this myself. You sound exactly like me when I was that age. I actually had my dr write a note to waive the phys ed requirement for high school because it was (and still is!) SO embarrassing for me to play sports. I have congenital bilateral esotropic strabismus and I've had 4 surgeries to correct it. Mine was a really severe case. As I grow older my eyes seem to want to revert and become more cross eyed, so I've been told I may want another surgery or two in the future for cosmetic reasons. Ouch. Oh and by the way...I am married and have a kid, crossed eyes and all. :) I never had a boyfriend in high school because I was too shy and self conscious of my eyes. Life changes when you become an adult. I promise!

It still sucks!

I too have it and i am too depressed in my teenage but luckily when i work out in gym my eyes appeared to be normal and i hope that i could be normal.But even i am normal i doubt if i look into anyones eye

Hey, I feel the same. I hate having my photo taken (if i have to have one i make some kind of face and shut one eye so you can't see my eye - my last school's yearbook photo they made me act normal, and it's so depressing to look at). my eyes do make me insecure, which is why i come to this website sometimes - to know i'm not the only one.

when someone asks me 'are you looking at me?' when i'm talking to them, i quickly explain and move on like it's no big deal (it feels like it though). most of the time, they accept it too. if they don't, well the people worth being friends with accept you and your eyes, okay?

In your profile picture on here (from what you can see), you look really pretty, and i really think you should consider having surgery. it didn't work for me but chances are your eyes will be aligned and you'll be fine. and there are other corrective techniques out there.

there are loads more people with strabismus/don't mind people who have strabismus than you think.

and anyway, it could be a lot worse. :)

I am 44 years old and I have strabismus. I have had it my entire life and identify with how it negatively impacts you socially. I felt many of the same feelings that you shared and many times still do, however, I have learned to love myself. True friends will love you for who you are, not what you look like, etc. It becomes frustrating trying to mask this condition of feeling indifferent. Although I had the surgery later in life, it didn't totally correct my eyes because I should have had it done sooner, but my mother, likes yours was afraid of the adverse effects that surgery may have. God created you & loves you just as you are!!! Learn to love yourself realizing that you are beautiful inside and out. Don't allow a condition that is beyond your control hinder you from the greatness within you. Hold your head high and know that you are just as good as anyone else if not better!!! Stay encouraged and inspired and walk into your destiny !

You need to do what is best for yourself. If that means having the surgery then I definitely would look into it. As you grow older, you will wish you had done something to correct these problems. I recently decided I needed to do the same thing for myself. I am tired of living with these problems and decided its time for a change. Also what helped me feel better about living with strabismus is doing activities that better myself. I got into running races and working out. This helps build my self-esteem. I hope you can find something that also makes you happy! Best of luck :)

Amyyzhu, if you only knew how much I understand what you are talking about...I experienced exactly the same thing when I was your age, and I promise you - my strabismus was much worse than yours, one of my eyes was all the way in to the nose and also a bit upwards. When I was 16 I finally got surgery but the doctors told me they can't align the eyes properly, I would see too much double and either I would go blind or the eye would turn inwards again. So they fixed it as much as they could, which was about the way you look on that photo. That way I looked for the next 35 years, until I went to another doctor and had another surgery...and now my eyes are almost 100% aligned (you can't see the difference), and I do have some double vision, especially on 1 eye, but I absolutely didn't go blind and the eye didn't turn back. It looks great. I still have problems looking other people in the eyes and I still avoid photographs, you know, the habit of a lifetime...I have to remind myself to look people in the eyes. But it is great.

So what I wanted to say to you: first of all, you look gorgeous. Honestly. You are soooo pretty and sounds like such a sweet and nice girl. I think the best you could do for yourself is to get some psychological support to help you with your fears of taking contact with other people, including boys. I promise you, as soon as I thought what the hell, if I can live with this so can they, I had quite a few boyfriends including very good looking ones, and got I married and have children. It is very hard in your teenage years when everyone is so aware of what they look like, but I think you will see it gets easier with time. Be yourself, do things you enjoy with people you feel comfortable with, and I think you will see that there are many people who will adore you for who you are and also find you very pretty (you are!).

At the same time I so much understand that you want surgery and braces. So did I, but I never did it, until now when I am 45. Try to find a good doctor and to find out the possible problems of surgery, such as double vision, but don't be too afraid - I had bad double vision after both surgeries but with some excercises most of the double vision passed very quickly, and I have no problem reading or driving or anything. Our brains can adapt to lots of things. And it is very nice to put on makeup on two aligned eyes and take pictures, I don't deny that. Same with the teeth. So if this is important to you, try to get it done as soon as possible. Two years pass really fast and before you notice, it will be done. And it will be your decision, something you did for yourself, because you are important. If surgery can't align your eyes, go ahead with your life as if they were, let nothing stop you.

I write this because when I was your age, I'd so much needed to hear this from someone in the same situation, but we didn't have the Internet then and I thought I was the only girl in the universe with this problem. Wish you lots of luck, whatever you decide to do!

Anna

I am 73 now and have had strabismus all my life. LOL But I didn't know the name for it until less that ten years ago when my eye doc dropped that word into a conversation about how "Transitions" glasses (because at my age I have old man vision) were a good choice so my eyes wouldn't be so obvious to others.
As a very young kid I wore glasses and even a patch over my non-lazy eye but nothing fixed it. IDK if the operation was even an option then.
Vision tests for drivers licenses have gotten more interesting. I think normal people would say "I see A B C D E" but I wind up saying "With my left eye I see A B C and with my right eye I see C D E" and I do it without shutting either eye. I can switch from one to the other without closing them and I can see peripherally with both at the same time but in the center is one or the other. Weird
When I started college I learned I couldn't have some jobs, some required binocular vision; the army didn't want me, a benefit.
Shortly after that I learned when doing a lot of night driving into blinding on-coming car lights that I could shut one eye and save the vision in that eye until the on-coming car had passed.
I don't think you look weird.