Treatment of Ocular Motor Palsies

Imran Jivraj, Vivek Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The management of ocular motor palsies first requires careful determination of the etiology. Possibilities include ischemia, inflammation, infection, trauma, compression, or congenital. Prognosis for recovery varies greatly between etiologies; hence, determination of the underlying process is crucial in the short- and long-term management of these patients. Naturally, our ultimate goal is to improve visual function as much as possible. A guiding principle in the initial management of ocular motor palsies is to improve patient comfort and visual function by eliminating diplopia in primary position while clinically observing the patient for improvement or stability. Offering a definitive treatment which creates the largest possible zone of binocular single vision in primary and reading positions can be undertaken once stability has been demonstrated. In the initial phase after an acute ocular motor palsy has occurred, occlusion of an eye can be used to eliminate diplopia. Options include a patch or applying translucent or satin tape to one of the lenses which prevents diplopia but still lets light through. Alternatively, prismatic correction placed on or ground into spectacles may improve function and restore binocularity in patients with temporary or permanent ocular deviations. This is generally effective for patients with up to 20 to 25 prism diopters (PD) of horizontal misalignment and 10 to 15 PD of vertical. Once a stable misalignment has been demonstrated (several months), a variety of surgical options exist. Use of adjustable sutures, improved suture materials, and surgical techniques has expanded the role and scope of surgery for these patients. Planning the surgical approach is based on residual extraocular muscle function, careful measurements, and assessment of patient expectations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCurrent Treatment Options in Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2015


  • Botulinum toxin
  • Fresnel prism
  • Ocular motor palsies
  • Pediatric
  • Surgical management
  • Visual function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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