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Strabismus occurs when the two eyes are unable to maintain proper alignment and focus together on an object— one eye looks directly at the object, while the other eye points in a different direction.

Strabismus is often referred to as, ‘crossed eyed’, ‘wall eyed’, an ‘eye turn’,  or a ‘squint’. The eye turn could be inward, outward, upward or downward.  The condition can be a constant or intermittent problem, and may consistently affect the same eye or affect a different eye each time (alternating).

Strabismus does not go away on its own— but it is usually treatable. With proper diagnosis and treatment, children can continue on a path of healthy development and clear vision.

What causes strabismus?

Strabismus often develops in infants and young children, though it can develop in adults as well.

The condition can be caused by:

How is strabismus treated?

The treatment method often depends on the cause of the strabismus.  The most common methods include:

  • Eyeglasses
  • Vision therapy
  • Eye muscle surgery

Vision therapy for strabismus

Vision therapy is highly effective for the treatment of strabismus and includes programs to improve:

  • Eye alignment
  • Eye teaming
  • Eye focusing
  • Eye movements
  • Binocular vision
  • Visual processing

Therapeutic lenses, prisms, and filters may be used as part of a vision therapy program.  Vision therapy not only involves ocular muscle training, it also includes training and development of the eye-brain connections (neuroplasticity) required for clear and comfortable vision— which results in a lasting cure.

Sometimes, a program of vision therapy may be recommended post-strabismus surgery to re-train the visual system.

If you suspect that your child may have an eye turn, do not hesitate to schedule an appointment. Early detection and treatment will enable your child to reach important developmental milestones and set them on the path for clear vision.


Information provided by Optometrists Network,
Editor: Dr. Russel Lazarus, Published March 12, 2020