Strabismus is a misalignment of the eyes in which they don't look toward the same object together do to a weakening of the muscles of the ocular muscles. One eye may be straight and moves normally, while the other deviates or drifts in another direction. If one eye turns in, this is referred to as esotropia, out is exotropia, up is hypertropia and down is hypotropia. Strabismus can lead to amblyopia or “lazy eye” in which the vision is impaired due to prolonged misalignment of the eyes. Strabismus is the physical condition but if left untreated can lead to amblyopia which is the visual effect.

Strabismus is a condition where your eyes don't look toward the same object together.

Strabismus Symptoms and Signs

Newborns may have crossed or drifting eyes due to a lack of developed vision, but this usually disappears as the infant grows and the muscles strengthen. Actual strabismus does not correct itself as the child grows and the eyes continue to be crossed.

If you suspect that your child may have a crossed eye or problem with their visual alignment,  schedule a appointment with your physician at Eye Health Vision Centers for a complete evaluation. The earlier the diagnosis and treatment following a child's eye exam, the better the visual results. Without treatment, visual impairment can become permanent or double vision may occur.

What Causes Strabismus?

Strabismus may be caused by unequal pulling of muscles on one side of the eye or a weakening of the ocular muscles either from paralysis or poor development.

Occasionally, if a child has uncorrected farsightedness for a prolonged period of time, he or she may develop accommodative strabismus from trying to focus and compensate for the need for glasses. This condition usually appears before two years of age and can occur as late as six.

Strabismus Treatment

Treatment for strabismus is similar to amblyopia treatment which is vision therapy requiring patching or visual exercises.  Depending on the individual, strabismus can frequently be treated with glasses or bifocals that have the correct prescription or sometimes prism correction to aid in proper focusing, surgery. Lastly, if conventional treatments are unsuccessful, surgery of the ocular muscles will correct the misaligned eyes but cannot resolve amblyopia caused by strabismus.