What is it?

Crossed eyes, also called strabismus, is a condition in which the eyes don’t line up and may look in different directions or focus on other objects. Strabismus is more common in children, but it can also occur later in life. The underlying cause is usually unknown in children, but there are some familial cases of crossed eyes. Strabismus can appear due to nerve damage or if some of the muscles around the eyes are weaker. Strabismus can also be caused due to conditions like cerebral palsy, stroke, lazy eye, or trauma to the eyes area. If strabismus is left untreated, it can become unreversible, and the weaker eye may lose the ability to see. Therefore, to prevent vision loss, early diagnosis and treatment are essential.

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Signs & symptoms

Symptoms of strabismus can be constant or appear and disappear alternately, and may include:
- Eyes point in different directions.
- Blurred vision.
- Impaired vision.
- Double vision.
- Poor depth perception.
- Headaches.

Diagnosis

Strabismus can be detected during an eye exam performed by an ophthalmologist. During the exam, the physician will assess both eyes and use tests to evaluate the exact cause. In some cases, a neurological assessment may be necessary as well.

Treatment

Treatment of strabismus depends on the severity of the condition and the cause of it. If it has resulted from a lazy eye, a patch over the stronger eye may be required to force the weaker eye muscles to work. Additionally, the treatment may include eye drops to blur the vision in the stronger eye or botox injection to weaken an "overreacting" muscle. Other optional treatments may consist of medication, eyeglasses with corrective lenses, eye muscle exercises, and surgery.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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