Strabismus is a medical term used to describe a misalignment of one or both eyes. The eye(s) can turn out (exotropia), in (esotropia), up (hypertropia), and down (hypotropia). This muscle imbalance can occur at any age by various causes and diseases.
In children, untreated strabismus can lead to amblyopia (lazy eye). In adults, a weakening or paralysis of the eye caused by poor circulation, infection, trauma or inflammation with any of the six muscles, cornea, optic nerve, retina, orbit, or brain can lead to double vision (diplopia).
Visual development is most important during the first 3 to 4 months of life. Anything causing a blurred or distorted retinal image can lead to poor vision or “amblyopia”. Normal binocular development can be effected by variable eye misalignment, the need for glasses (refractive error), lid droop (ptosis) and rare congenital birth defects of the eye and brain.
Depending on the age of the patient, medical history, family history, the results of detailed eye exams, visual acuity, physical, psychological, and social factors the type of treatment may vary. The goals of therapy in children depends on early detection and improvement of vision and alignment. In adults, the goals may be to have better alignment, less double vision, and higher self-esteem. In most cases, treatment may involve a combination of patching, drops, use of glasses, prisms, exercises, and surgery.