What is Strabismus?
Strabismus is an eye condition in which the eyes are not aligned properly and point in different directions. One eye may look straight ahead, while the other may turn inward, outward, downward or upward. The manner in which the eye turns may be consistent or it may vary. Which eye is straight and which eye turns may also differ.
Strabismus is most often caused by a disorder of the brain in its ability to coordinate eye movement. It can also be caused by a lack of power or direction of motion in the eye’s muscles.
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Normal vision vs. Strabismus
There are several types of strabismus, depending on the movement of the eyes and the age at which strabismus is acquired. Most cases develop during infancy. If a child’s eyes are not properly aligned from the age of four months, it is recommended to request an eye exam. Your doctor may refer you to an eye care professional.
What are the symptoms of Strabismus?
The most obvious symptom of strabismus is eyes that do not
look in the same direction at the same time. Other symptoms may include:
- eyes that do not move together
- squinting or closing eyes in bright sunlight
- tilting or turning of the head to view objects
- bumping into things (strabismus limits depth perception)
- blurred vision
- tired eyes
- double vision
What to expect from Strabismus?
Strabismus can be treated if detected early. The general consensus under eye care professionals is that the earlier treatment is started, the better the chances are of correcting this condition. If left untreated, strabismus may result in decreased vision or irreversible eye damage. Treatment for strabismus may include glasses, patches, drug treatments, exercises to train the eyes or surgery. Discuss the best options for each specific case with an eye care professional.
More information about Strabismus
There is extensive information available about strabismus. The information included is intended to inform you about the basics of this eye condition, and is not intended as a replacement for information from your physician or eye specialist. Information regarding assistive devices that can help you if you have been diagnosed with strabismus is included. Our recommendations can be found under Tools and Resources.