Strabismus, or crossed eyes, is when the eyes look in different directions due to weak eye muscle control. It affects both children and adults and can result from medical conditions, eye injuries, or diseases. Specific names describe how the eyes drift:

  • Esotropia: Eyes turn inward
  • Exotropia: Eyes turn outward
  • Hypertropia: Eyes turn upward
  • Hypotropia: Eyes turn downward

The drifting of the eyes can be constant or intermittent.


Strabismus can present with various symptoms, including:

  • Eyes that do not move together
  • Double vision
  • Squinting or closing one eye to see clearly
  • Tilting or turning the head to look at objects
  • Frequent headaches or eye strain
  • Difficulty with depth perception
  • Blurred vision

Early recognition of these symptoms is crucial for effective treatment and preventing further vision problems. Watch the video below to learn more about the symptoms of strabismus.

Causes & Risk Factors:

Strabismus can be caused by various factors, including:

  • Genetic Predisposition: Family history of strabismus.
  • Eye Muscle Imbalance: Weakness or overactivity in the muscles controlling eye movement.
  • Refractive Errors: Uncorrected vision problems like nearsightedness or farsightedness.
  • Neurological Conditions: Disorders affecting the brain or nerves, such as cerebral palsy or Down syndrome.
  • Injuries: Trauma to the eye or head.
  • Medical Conditions: Health issues like diabetes or thyroid disease that can impact eye alignment.
  • Congenital Factors: Being born with the condition due to developmental issues.

Understanding the underlying causes is essential for determining the appropriate treatment plan for strabismus.

Testing & Diagnosis:

Accurate testing and diagnosis are crucial for effective treatment of strabismus. The process includes:

  • Comprehensive Eye Exam: An in-depth examination to assess vision and eye health.
  • Visual Acuity Test: Measuring the sharpness of vision in each eye.
  • Cover Test: Observing how the eyes move when one is covered and then uncovered.
  • Corneal Light Reflex Test: Checking for symmetrical light reflection on the corneas.
  • Retinal Exam: Examining the retina to rule out other eye conditions.
  • Refraction Test: Determining the correct prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses.
  • Neurological Exam: Assessing for any underlying neurological conditions that may be contributing to strabismus.

These tests help in accurately diagnosing strabismus and formulating an effective treatment plan.

Treatment Options

Treating strabismus early is crucial. The following treatment options can help align the eyes:

  • Glasses or Contact Lenses: These can correct the alignment of the eyes, depending on the severity of strabismus.
  • Prism Lenses: Special lenses that alter the light entering the eye, reducing the need for eye turning.
  • Eye Exercises: Structured programs done at home to strengthen eye coordination and focus.
  • Eye Patching: Wearing a patch over the stronger eye for several hours daily to improve the weaker eye, especially if amblyopia (lazy eye) is also present.

If you notice changes in your eyes, are experiencing vision problems, or have a family history of strabismus, contact the ophthalmologists at Azul Vision. Our team is trained to diagnose this condition early and start prompt treatment to help you achieve your best vision. We’d be honored to care for you.

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