Strabismus is reduced vision in one eye caused by abnormal visual development early in life. The weaker — or lazy — eye often wanders inward or outward. The signs and symptoms are:
• An eye that wanders inward or outward
• Eyes that appear to not work together
• Poor depth perception
• Squinting or shutting an eye
• Head tilting
• Abnormal results of vision screening tests
HOW IS STRABISMUS DIAGNOSED?
The method used to test vision by an ophthalmologist depends on your child's age and stage of development:
• Preverbal children. A lighted magnifying device can be used to detect cataracts. Other tests can assess an infant or toddler's ability to fixate his or her gaze and to follow a moving object.
• Children ages 3 and older. Tests using pictures or letters can assess the child's vision. Each eye is patched in turn to test the other.
HOW IS STRABISMUS TREATED?
The goal of strabismus treatment is to improve eye alignment which allows for the eyes to better work together (binocular vision). Treatment may involve eye glasses, eye exercises, prism, and/ or eye muscle surgery. Problems associated with strabismus (including amblyopia, ptosis, and cataract) are usually treated prior to eye muscle surgery.
DID YOU KNOW?
Newborns often have intermittent crossed eyes due to incomplete vision development, but this frequently disappears as the infant grows and the visual system continues to mature. Most types of strabismus, however, do not disappear as a child grows.