Strabismus Definition

Strabismus, or crossed eyes, is the inability to point both eyes in the same direction at
the same time. One eye may appear to turn in (esotropia), out (exotropia), up
(hypertropia), or down (hypotropia). The eye turn may occur constantly or only
intermittently. Eye-turning may change from one eye to the other and may only appear
when a person is tired or has done a lot of reading. Strabismus may cause double
vision. To avoid seeing double, vision in one eye may be ignored resulting in a lazy eye

Crossed eyes most often develop in infants and young children although it can occur in adults. This may also be caused by:
  • Inadequate development of eye coordination in childhood
  • Excessive farsightedness (hyperopia) or differences between the vision in each eye
  • Problems with the eye muscles that control eye movement
  • Head trauma, stroke, or other general health problems

It is important to rule out any general health problems that may have caused the

Strabismus causes great inefficiencies in the visual system because only information from one
eye is being used, losing most of the advantages of our binocular visual system.

This can include:
  • Compromised depth perception/distance judgement
  • Reduced reading comfort/comprehension
  • Reduced balance/stability
  • Increased frequency of headaches

To learn more about treatment for strabismus or eye turns in Victoria, please contact us.

Courtesy of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development

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