Strabismus and sinusitis

skull xray showing sinus cavaties and eye socketsAccording to a study published by the American Ophthalmological Society 2004, sinus disease may cause a person to develop strabismus. But the conclusion of the study goes on to say that this association is “difficult to prove.”

This study is very unusual in that most of the patients were unaware they even had sinus disease, “although in retrospect, several reported improved health and decreased facial pain after clearing of sinusitis.”

I work for a doctor who treats sinusitis and does sinus surgery, yet I have never seen evidence of a connection between sinusitis and strabismus. I showed the link to him, as well as to others who treat sinusitis.

The sinus surgeon I work for, Dr. Michael Marsh, said that “chronic sinusitis may lead to low grade inflamation in the orbit that could lead to a fibrosis (and possibly strabismus),” but that he had never noted any association between sinusitis and strabismus.

Another prominent sinus doctor, Dr. Murray Grossan, said, “While injury to the lateral rectus muscle of the eye is possible during sinus surgery, infection affecting the eye muscle and not the entire eye seems remote. Ethmoid Sinusitis does occur in children, and examining for this in recent onset strabismus makes sense, considering that the child’s ethmoid sinus walls bordering the eye are thin.”

Both Dr. Marsh and Dr. Grossan pointed out that the article itself says this connection between sinus and strabismus is inconclusive. The study says that more research needs to be done, but it is an interesting concept.

You can read the entire study here.

Photo credit: caitlin p

4 thoughts on “Strabismus and sinusitis”

  1. I have a problem with my eyes, when I look to the right, I see double. The problem started ten years ago and never got better. Around the same time I started with several allergy problems that had worsen over the years. The two CT I got from my sinus show congestion, but the Doctors think it isn’t infection or a serious sinusitis problem. My allergies have been bothering me lately very much. Itching, head congestion, sneezing, headache. I also have a problem with my inner ear that I believe is also connected. But Doctors don’t give importance to this. So here I am, just having a hard time with all this.

  2. For those who are looking, good medical information concerning sinusitis can be found here.

  3. I had Strabismus surgery last week and now I have Sinusitis ….. I do not know if there is a link or if it is an unfortunate concidence. The last time I had Sinusitis it was around both eyes and this time only around the Strabismus eye. I have not had Sinusitis since 1994 until 2014 and 5 days after surgery.

  4. Ron, If you are having pain around the operated eye, I suggest you phone your surgeon’s office and describe your symptoms to be sure it is sinusitis and not something related to the surgery. If it is sinusitis around the eye, they may want to provide an antibiotic to clear the infection so the eye itself doesn’t get infected. I hope you are feeling better soon!

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