Crossed eyes, also referred to as Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes do not line up properly. It is the wandering of one or both the eyes inward, outward, up, or down. For people with this condition, their eyes look in different directions, and each eye focuses on different objects. The treatment for cross eye involves correction with strabismus surgery or eyeglasses.
This condition is very common in children, the cause of which is unknown. In adults, it can be caused by many different factors including retina damage, brain tumor, stroke or diabetes.
Types of Crossed Eyes
It is not uncommon for children to have crossed eyes. It can be a constant condition or can be occasionally noticed noticed, for example, when the child is tired or focusing on something very closely. However, if it continues beyond three months of age, it is important to consult a doctor. There are two kinds of crossed eyes that affect children.
- Infantile esotropia – This affects babies when they are around one year of age. One eye is more cross than the other. This type of crossed eyes run in families and can be corrected with surgery.
- Acquired esotropia – This affects children between the age of 2 and five years. It can be usually corrected with eyeglasses.
Most kids with the disorder do not lead to any eye issues. Some kids though may complain of double vision or have problems seeing things in general. Children who are too young to talk may occasionally squint or tilt their heads to see things more closely. If you find your child experiencing any of these symptoms, visit your doctor.
Crossed Eye Causes
Crossed eyes happen when the muscles around the eyes do not work together as some are weaker than others. The brain gets two different visual messages from the two eyes; it ignores the message that is coming from the weaker eye. There is a risk of losing vision in the weaker eye over time.
Crossed eye, when it happens later in life is often the result of physical disorders such as an eye injury or brain tumor. If you are farsighted or have a lazy eye, there is a chance of developing crossed eyes. Also, people who are suffering from the nervous system or brain disorders have more chances of developing strabismus.
Crossed Eyes Risk Factors
Some of the risk factors of the condition are:
- Brain injury or stroke
- Braun disorder
- Damaged Retina
- Farsightedness or lazy eye
Crossed Eyes Symptoms
The symptoms of the disorder may be constant or occur when you are tired and not feeling well. Your eyes may focus in different directions.
Crossed Eyes Diagnosis
Your doctor will conduct different tests to determine the health of the eyes. Some of the tests are:
- Corneal light reflex test
- Retinal exam
- Visual acuity test
- Cover/uncover test
It is crucial to go for an early diagnosis and treatment for the cross eye to help prevent any vision loss. If there are other symptoms present, the doctor may check your nervous system or brain to detect the presence of any other condition such as cerebral palsy or Guillain-Barre syndrome.
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Crossed Eyes Treatment
The eye treatment for the disorder depends on the cause of the condition and its severity. Some common treatments include:
- Strabismus surgery
- Eye exercises
- Eye drops
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Eye treatment depends on the underlying causes and the severity of the condition. When detected early, crossed eyes are curable with the help of a range of safe and effective treatment methods. It is essential especially for children to be treated early; ignoring it or waiting for too long can cause permanent loss of vision.