Medical Subject Headings

Diplopia, Oculomotor muscles, Esotropia, Blepharoptosis, Ophthalmology, Strabismus, Connective tissue, Neuroimaging



Background: Sagging Eye Syndrome (SES) is a relatively unknown cause for binocular distance diplopia. SES presents with an acquired comitant or non-comitant small angle esotropia and/or hypotropia commonly occurring in the elderly population. Inferior displacement of the lateral rectus secondary to age-related degeneration of orbital connective tissue and extraocular muscles appears to be responsible for the ocular misalignment. SES patients often present with new onset or progressively worsening distance diplopia, typically warranting neuroimaging. However, through understanding SES, eye care practitioners may identify these cases, avoiding unnecessary imaging studies. Case Report: A 90-year-old male presented with complaints of intermittent horizontal diplopia at distance despite being prescribed prism for presumed decompensating phoria at his most recent eye exam. The patient noted progressing diplopia which appeared worse in right gaze. Full binocular examination revealed a non-comitant esotropia worse at distance than near. External exam revealed prominent deep superior sulci, blepharoptosis, and orbital fat loss bilaterally. Due to the progressive nature and incomitancy of the diplopia, a neuro-ophthalmology consult was obtained, and the patient was diagnosed with SES. A clinical diagnosis was made based on history, adnexal features, and motility patterns distinct to SES, obviating the need for confirmatory imaging. Conclusion: Patients presenting with new onset diplopia secondary to undiagnosed SES may prompt expensive and time-consuming investigations. It is critical that eye care practitioners accurately recognize the signs, symptoms, and clinical features of SES to avoid unwarranted imaging and patient anxiety. This case report reviews the clinical presentation, exam findings, and distinct picture of SES required for diagnosis and necessary to differentiate this condition from more serious neurologic conditions. Treatment and management will be discussed.

Note: No identifiable health information was included in this case report. Written informed consent was obtained for patient images.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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