Strabismus "Crossed Eyed" Conditions

Posted Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Did You Know? There are 3 million + cases of strabismus a year

Newborns Can Show Signs of Strabismus

Children Cannot Outgrow Strabismus; the Condition Will Often Become More Severe Without Treatment

While strabismus can be treated and often corrected substantially with minimally invasive procedures, it is important to seek treatment early. Strabismus can become worse if left untreated, leading to substantial complications as an adult.  

Please use this guide as a resource for knowledge and understanding of strabismus causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.


There are several possible causes of strabismus, stemming from poor muscle control to the eye, neurological defects, injury, genetic defects etc. There are variations of strabismus and each can have a different cause and severity. The various classifications of strabismus are: 

  • Inward turning is called esotropia
  • Outward turning is called exotropia
  • Upward turning is called hypertropia
  • Downward turning is called hypotropia.
  • The frequency with which it occurs—either constant or intermittent
  • Whether it always involves the same eye—unilateral
  • If the turning eye is sometimes the right eye and other times the left eye—alternating.


Strabismus is when your eyes are not functioning together and there is failure in vision, focus, movement or a combination of symptoms. This disorder is often referred to as crossed eyes and affects nearly 4% of the U.S. population. Often a patient can be seen to have misaligned eyes and/or a roaming eye. One eye can remain focused and directed toward an intended object where the other eye lacks coordination.        


Your provider will offer a comprehensive eye exam for initial diagnosis of strabismus.  This exam will focus on how the eyes move, react and are able to focus on objects. Testing will include visual acuity or your visual ability by testing visual recognition at various distances and size ranges. Refraction is tested by placing various lenses over the eye to see what increases or decreases visibility. Alignment and focus testing is conducted by examining the eyes ability to find detail or see a whole image. Eye health can be a major factor in these tests and could be a reason for complication not related to strabismus. It is important to determine any health issues within the eye for a proper diagnosis. 


Treatment options can vary depending on the exact cause and severity of strabismus. Options include eyeglasses or contact lenses to assist with visual ability.  Prism lenses change the light entering the eye and reduce the need for movement of the eye to view and perceive objects. Vision therapy is a set of visual activities meant to improve eye focus and coordination. This therapy may allow for better coordination between the brain and the eye. Surgery is necessary if the muscle is causing the position of the eye to be restricted or affecting movement. 

Learn more about ophthalmic conditions, risks, and symptoms at:

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