Strabismus, better known as "crossed eyes," is when the muscles in the eyes are not properly aligned with one another. This causes the eyes to turn in, out, up, down or be "crossed" with each other.
The eyes ability to work together develops in the first 6 - 8 years of age.
If the muscles in your eyes are unable to coordinate together, it results in double vision or suppression of an image.
Strabismus is usually hereditary or caused by an eye injury or disease.
This condition is mostly found in children under the age of 6. It usually first appears between birth and 21 months old. Parents will be the first to notice if their child's eye seems to wander off. If this occurs in the early years from 6 months - 3 years of age. Optometrist are able to examine children starting at 6 months old to determine any irregularities.
Although this condition is rare, it can be found in adults as well. This is result from a stroke, tumor or other vascular diseases.
Strabismus cannot be outgrown without treatment. If no treatment is taken this condition can become worse. It can result in double vision, which the eyes are trying to focus on the same object but can't. This results in "supression," which means it gives the brain an attempt to get rid of the double vision by ignoring the image of the second eye. The longer this goes on without treatment the supressed eye will get use to not functioning and can develop the condition better known as a "lazy eye" (amblyopia).
Strabismus can be treated by prescription glasses, vision therapy or in other cases, surgery. This condition can be corrected when detected early during a Full Eye Exam.
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