New book helps describe eye muscle problems to patients, parents and the public

Parents of children with eye muscle problems have a new source of information on their children’s health. Burton Kushner, MD, a pediatric ophthalmologist and strabismus specialist has written a book “Eye Muscle Problems in Children and Adults” that provides information about how eyes function as well as what can go wrong and how to treat it.

The book’s subtitle “A Guide to Understanding” brings Dr. Kushner’s passion for ensuring patients are comfortable understanding their eye disorder and treatment needed.

Dr. Kushner begins the book by explaining how the eyes work together. He uses simple analogies such as a camera and film (or pixels) to explain how the eye focuses and image, to provide basic understanding. “I started working on the book before the common popularity of digital cameras,” he said, laughing. “Then I put it in a drawer for many years. Recently, I decided this information would be helpful to my patients and to patients around the county who have an interest in eye muscle problems.”

Collectively known as strabismus (misalignment of the eyes that prevent the two eyes from working together) eye muscle problems are commonly treated during childhood. “Improving vision is especially important for children because being able to see clearly means the connections between the eyes and the brain will develop normally,” he said. Therefore, most patients with strabismus are children, but not all. Some adults have problems that were not corrected during childhood, or problems that develop later in life. So it’s not uncommon for adults to be cared for by a pediatric ophthalmologist.

The book does not replace care provided by an ophthalmologist. Dr. Kushner hopes that it augments the information provided by a physician. “Sometimes you don’t think of a question until you’ve left the doctor’s office. This book may help answer those questions as well. Dr. Kushner calls the book an update to a book by Charles Windsor, MD and Jane Hurtt, R.N., A.A. It’s a very personal project for him as well. He writes as though he were speaking directly to a parent or patient.