Strabismus is a condition where the eyes are not aligned properly. The eyes can be turned inward (esotropia), outward (exotropia), upward (hypertropia), downward (hypotropia), or a combination.
Strabismus can affect people of all ages. Children are sometimes born with strabismus. Older children and adults can develop strabismus as a result of injury, illness, or prior eye surgery.
Strabismus evaluation requires thorough examination from an ophthalmologist specializing in strabismus. Occasionally an MRI scan of the brain and orbit (eye socket) is obtained to rule out life threatening causes of strabismus.
Strabismus can sometimes be treated with special eyeglasses that contain prism lenses to help realign the eyes. Often, strabismus needs to be corrected with surgery on the muscles surrounding the eyes.
In young children, strabismus can lead to lifelong visual disability if it is not diagnosed correctly and treated promptly. When there is a concern that a child may have strabismus, the child should be promptly referred to a pediatric ophthalmologist.