Strabismus controversies that inspired the foundation of the Donders Society for Strabology and of the journal Strabismus

H. J. Simonsz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The Donders Society for Strabology and the journal Strabismus were founded in 1984 and 1992 to (i) stimulate scientific exchange, (ii) bridge the gap between clinical strabismus and neurophysiology by covering the two fields in a single journal and (iii) provide a forum for multicenter studies. They were inspired by two controversies on the treatment of strabismus, whether accommodative esotropia should be treated with glasses or not and whether infantile esotropia should be operated in the first years of life to preserve or reinstate binocular vision. Key assumptions in the theory leading to the former controversy were that the angle between the oblique muscle plane and the sagittal plane was small in strabismus patients causing excyclotropia, that hemiretinal suppression occurred when the left and right halves of the visual fields were no longer aligned because of excyclotropia and that binasal or bitemporal suppression disturbed the balance of the optomotor reflexes and thereby caused esotropia or exotropia. Hemiretinal suppression also disturbed accommodation related to the development of hyperopia, which did not cause esotropia and could worsen by wearing glasses. The Donders Society for Strabismology was founded in 1984, and expanded with Flemish pediatric ophthalmologists and orthoptists two years later. A survey gauging the need for a European journal on strabismus and amblyopia in 1985 got favorable responses from strabismologists from continental Europe. However, a proposal by Aeolus Press to the European Strabismological Association to adopt or endorse such journal was turned down in 1989 and by the International Strabismological Association in 1990. In 1992 candidate editors were invited to start the journal Strabismus without adoption by a professional organization and founding meetings took place in April and May, 1992. Regarding the three goals set, it can be said that both the Donders Society for Strabology and the journal Strabismus have stimulated scientific exchange to a high degree, but they have bridged the gap between clinical strabismus and neurophysiology only modestly. Strabismus did successfully provide a forum for the multicenter Early vs. Late Infantile Strabismus Surgery Study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-214
Number of pages6
JournalStrabismus
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Nov 2022

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