Apr 3, 2022 - Partners

“It’s completely changed how I feel about myself:” One patient’s eye surgery story

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Produced in partnership with Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A.

Photo: Andy Weber

Strabismus is a misalignment of the eyes that affects between 2-4% of the population.

“It’s typically due to an imbalance in the power of the eye movement muscles. Some patients are born with strabismus, or it can be caused by an injury, the aging process, or other medical conditions,” says Dr. Elliot McKee, a strabismus specialist at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates.

  • The impact: Strabismus can cause double vision, eyestrain, or difficulty maintaining eye contact.

Luckily, there’s a surgery that can correct it.

How it’s done: “The surgeon makes a small incision in the corner of the conjunctiva (the white part of the eye) to tighten or loosen the muscle as needed,” says Dr. McKee.

  • The surgery is performed with either sedation or general anesthesia.

Take note: Sometimes, adults with strabismus are told it’s “too late” for them to correct it.

  • “This is not true. Treatment for strabismus can improve vision, restore normal eye appearance, and improve self-confidence at any age,” says Dr. McKee.

We talked to one of Dr. McKee’s patients, a woman in her mid-20s, to find out what you need to know about the procedure.

How has strabismus affected your life?

I’ve always had it in my left eye, but it gradually worsened and began to bother me significantly in the last couple of years.

  • It was constantly hanging over me and it made me lose my confidence.

Why did you choose to have this surgery, and why at CEENTA?

First things first: I searched online to see if anything could be done to correct strabismus and found out there was a surgery specifically for it.

Then, I learned more about why Dr. McKee became an ophthalmologist and it made me feel comfortable seeing someone for it and moving forward with a consultation.

What was the recovery like?

It wasn’t bad at all. I had my surgery on a Friday and went back to work on Tuesday. My eye was pretty red and a little uncomfortable for a couple of weeks, but it never stopped me from doing anything I normally did.

  • The idea of eye surgery sounds much worse than it really is.

Are you happy with the results?

I’m so beyond happy with the outcome of my surgery. Sometimes I still have to remind myself that I don’t have to worry about it all the time.

  • It’s completely changed how I interact with everyone in my life and how I feel about myself.

Is there anything you wish you’d known before the surgery?

Hindsight is 20/20: I wish I would’ve known that I could’ve had the surgery years ago. I never knew that this surgical correction existed and thought I was just stuck with how my eye was.

I also needlessly worried about the whole surgery process. CEENTA – and Dr. McKee specifically – were so good to me from the initial consultation up until my 6 month post-op.

  • I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

From eye surgery to seasonal allergies, Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A. can help you feel your best. Learn more and book an appointment.

Produced in partnership with Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A.

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