UAE: 11-month-old gets fresh vision after eye surgery in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi - 'It was crucial that we operated on Adam as early as possible while the brain-eye connection was still developing'

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By Staff Reporter

Published: Mon 14 Jun 2021, 11:28 AM

Last updated: Mon 14 Jun 2021, 12:03 PM

An 11-month-old has got better vision as doctors in Abu Dhabi fixed a condition called strabismus, more commonly referred to as crossed eyes.

Adam El Jammal was just two months old, when his parents noticed his eyes weren’t properly aligned.

Dr Arif Khan, a paediatric ophthalmologist at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, said: “Adam had good vision but rather than using his eyes together, he was using one at a time. It was crucial that we operated on Adam as early as possible while the brain-eye connection was still developing.

“By performing the surgery early, we give him the best chance for the right connections to develop between the eyes and the brain, allowing him to take in the world with both eyes at once.”

At 11 months old, Adam underwent ambulatory eye muscle surgery. During the 40-minute operation, his eye muscles were repositioned to compensate for the eye turn. By realigning his eyes, the brain would be able to lock in the new straight-ahead position as the correct one.

Mohamad El Jammal, Adam’s father, said: “Immediately after the surgery, you could feel Adam was happier and more relaxed. He was more interactive with us because his field of view became bigger. We really noticed he was quite excited about it for a couple of days.

“Now he’s running around the house, happy with the world around him.”

Strabismus affects up to 4 per cent of children and refers to the eyes not being properly aligned. This leads to the brain using one eye at a time, rather than both together for full binocular perception.

Left uncorrected, the condition can affect fine motor control, depth perception, hand-eye coordination and even reading speed. However, potentially more damaging are the psychosocial effects strabismus can have on children as their personality develops.

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