Strabismus refers to misaligned eyes. Esotropia (crossed eyes) occurs when the eyes turn inward. Exotropia (wall-eye) occurs when the eyes turn outward. When one eye is higher than the other it is called Hypertropia (for the higher eye) or Hypotropia (for the lower eye). Strabismus can be subtle or obvious and can occur constantly or intermittently. It can affect only one eye or can also alternate between both eyes.
Strabismus usually is noticed and begins in infancy or childhood. With the exception of accommodative Strabismus, which is caused by a need for glasses for farsightedness, the cause for Strabismus is not well known. Children normally have no symptoms. Adults who develop this, however, have significant double vision. Children and adults with Strabismus both will lose their depth perception when the eyes are not aligned properly.
In children, amblyopia or lazy eye may develop if the Strabismus is left untreated. In some cases, patching and glasses may be used to correct this problem, but in most cases, surgery is necessary to realign the eyes.
Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)
Lazy Eye, medically known as amblyopia, is a loss or lack of development of vision, usually in one eye. This degenerative process usually begins with an inherited condition and appears during infancy or early childhood. Lazy eye needs to be diagnosed between birth and early school age since it’s during this period that the brain “chooses” its visual pathway and may ignore the weaker eye permanently.
Lazy eye is not always easy to recognize since a child with worse vision in one eye does not necessarily have lazy eye. Because of this, it is recommended that all children, including those with no symptoms, have a comprehensive eye examination by the age of three and sooner if there is a family history of any eye condition or disease. If you suspect a problem, or need to set up your child’s first eye examination, contact the O’Byrne Eye Clinic and we would be happy to set up an appointment.