Strabismus is a problem with the alignment of the eyes. One or both of the eyes are turned in, out, up, or down. Strabismus is most common in children but may occur in adults. It can lead to permanent vision loss if it is not detected and treated in a timely manner. There are two types:
Strabismus is caused by a lack of coordination between the muscles in the eyes. This can happen due to:
- Problems, imbalances, or injuries of the muscles that move the eyes
Nervous system disorders that affect vision, such as:
- Problems or injury of the nerves that control the eye muscles
- Tumor in or near the eye or brain
or bleeding in the brain
- Increased pressure in the brain
- Myasthenia gravis
Strabismus is a problem with the alignment of the eyes. One or both of the eyes are turned in, out, up, or down. Strabismus is most common in children but may occur in adults. It can lead to permanent vision loss if it is not detected and treated in a timely manner.
Appearance of Strabismus Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
There are two types:
- Constant strabismus—the eye turns all the time
- Intermittent strabismus—the eye turns only some of the time, like in times of stress, illness, concentration, or when tired
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You should also have an eye exam by an ophthalmologist. This specialist will test your eyesight and look for other potential eye problems. You may also be given a neurologic exam and other tests to rule out other possible causes.
There is no known way to prevent strabismus. If you notice that you or your child’s eyes are not properly aligned, visit your eye doctor immediately.
Factors that increase your risk for strabismus include having:
- Family member with strabismus
- Thyroid disease
- High blood pressure
- Retinopathy of prematurity
- Vision loss in one eye—the blind eye will often turn in or out
- Glasses are needed but not used
Symptoms may include:
- Double vision
- Crossed eyes
- Eyes that do not align properly
- Uncoordinated eye movements
- Favoring a certain head position
Treatment may include: