The muscles of your eye are the fastest in the human body. Their ability to react to external behavior and commands sent from the brain takes .01 percent of a second! This movement is controlled by six muscles located around your eye that expand and contract with intricate coordination for smooth, quick eye control. Even now, as you read, healthy eyes will perfectly scan left to right and down the page, rapidly transmitting information to your brain.

    While many other muscles in your body need to warm up before they can perform at their peak, your eye muscles are ready to go at all times. They also do not require the amount of rest that your other muscles need to recover. Even while you’re sleeping, your eyes are still on the move. The Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleeping refers to the constant moving of your eyes that relates to dreaming.

    Your eye muscles operate on a tri-axis: vertical, horizontal, and rotational. Vertical movement is supported by a pair of rectus muscles, horizontal by lectus muscles, and rotational by oblique muscles. When one of the muscles pushes the eye, its corresponding partner muscle pulls to create smooth movement.

    If any of these six muscles is damaged or operates out of balance, the others are directly affected, causing problems for your eyes.

    One condition, called Strabismus, is a misalignment of the eyes that results in cross-eyes or a wandering eye.


    Strabismus is more frequently caused by optical nerves rather than the muscles. It can impair your vision, especially if you are a child. The brain begins to ignore images received by the wandering eye, and only focuses on the stronger eye. If this happens to a child, the brain may stop developing nerves and muscles in the weaker eye, and any surgery will be ineffective in restoring full vision.

    Your optometrist may treat minor cases of Strabismus with optical aids like glasses and eye exercises. Surgery is one of the more effective solutions. It is a quick procedure that requires the patient to go under general anesthesia. Recovery is usually quick, and your doctor will ask you not to rub your eyes to avoid opening wounds or causing infection.

    Do you need to have your eyes examined for Strabismus or another condition? Please, contact Silverstein Eye Care Centers to make an appointment for an eye exam. We can serve you at our convenient location in Independence/Kansas City at (816) 358-3600.

    Posted August 6, 2015 by Silverstein Eye Centers
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