What are crossed eyes?
Crossed eyes, also called strabismus, may be a condition during which your eyes don’t line up. If you've got this condition, your eyes look in several directions. And each eye will specialise in a special object.
The condition is more common in children, but it also can occur later in life. In older children and adults, crossed eyes are often caused by a spread of underlying medical conditions, like spastic paralysis or stroke.
Crossed eyes can usually be corrected with corrective lenses, surgery, or a mixture of both.
Signs of crossed eyes
If you've got crossed eyes, your eyes might point inward or outward or focus in several directions. You might also have:
Ø impaired vision
Ø double vision
Ø decreased depth perception
Ø eyestrain or headache
What causes crossed eyes?
Crossed eyes occur either thanks to nerve damage or when the muscles around your eyes don’t work together because some are weaker than others. When your brain receives a special visual message from each eye, it ignores the signals coming from your weaker eye.
If your condition isn’t corrected, you'll lose vision in your weaker eye.
Crossed eyes are common in children. Often the underlying cause is unknown. Infantile esotropia may be a sort of crossed eyes that appears in babies during their first year of life.
Esotropia runs in families and usually requires surgery to correct. Acquired esotropia occurs in children usually between the ages of 2 and 5. Eyeglasses can usually correct it.
Crossed eyes can also occur later in life. It’s usually caused by physical disorders, like eye injuries, spastic paralysis , or stroke. You may also develop crossed eyes if you've got a lazy eye or are farsighted.
How is crossed eyes diagnosed?
To prevent vision loss, early diagnosis and treatment for crossed eyes is vital . If you develop symptoms of crossed eyes, make a meeting with an eye fixed doctor. They’ll perform a series of tests to see the health of your eyes which will include:
Ø a corneal light reflex test to check for crossed eyes
Ø a visual acuity test to determine how well you can read from a distance
Ø a cover/uncover test to measure your eye movement and deviation
Ø a retina exam to examine the backs of your eyes
If you've got other physical symptoms along side crossed eyes, your doctor may examine your brain and systema nervosum for other conditions. For example, they may conduct tests to check for cerebral palsy or Guillain-Barré syndrome.
It’s common for newborn babies to possess crossed eyes. If your baby has crossed eyes that persist beyond 3 months aged , make a meeting with their doctor. Young children should undergo an eye fixed exam before 3 years aged.
Who is at risk of crossed eyes?
You’re more likely to develop crossed eyes if you:
Ø have family members who have crossed eyes
Ø have a brain disorder or brain tumor
Ø have had a stroke or brain injury
Ø have a lazy eye, are farsighted, or have vision loss
Ø have a damaged retina
Ø have diabetes
How are crossed eyes treated?
Your recommended treatment plan for crossed eyes will depend upon the severity and underlying explanation for your condition. If your crossed eyes have resulted from a lazy eye, your doctor may have you ever wear a patch over your stronger eye to force the muscles of your weaker eye to work harder.
Your doctor may additionally prescribe eye drops to blur the vision in your stronger eye. They can also use Botox injections to weaken the muscle that’s overacting and causing the eye turn.
Other potential treatments include:
Ø eye exercises
Ø corrective lenses, such as eyeglasses or contact lenses
Ø surgery on certain eye muscles, particularly if corrective lenses haven’t corrected the condition
If your crossed eyes are caused by an underlying medical condition, like a brain tumour or stroke, your doctor may prescribe medication, surgery, or other treatments.
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