Strabismus

Image of a cross-eyed young girl.

Commonly called crossed eyes, strabismus is a condition in which eyes do not work together, failing to maintain proper alignment. While one eye focuses on an object, the other does not. The failure of the eyes to work together causes double vision, and if untreated can lead to an extreme reduction of vision in one eye, amblyopia. Strabismus is classified by the direction of misalignment, frequency, and the eye or eyes in which strabismus occurs. These classifications include:

  • Esotropia - inward turning eye
  • Exotropia - outward turning eye
  • Hypertropia - upward turning eye
  • Hypotropia - downward turning eye

Strabismus is further classified by the frequency of the condition (constant or intermittent), whether one (unilateral) or both eyes (alternating) show signs of strabismus, and the degree of the turn (large or small angle).

Causes

Six external (extraocular) muscles control each eye's movement and position. In order for binocular vision to work properly, the positioning, function, and neurological control of these muscles must work together perfectly to control the eyes. An anatomical problem, neurological condition, or trouble with the center of the brain which controls binocular vision can make it difficult to control the extraocular muscles, leading to strabismus.

Individuals with uncorrected farsightedness can also develop strabismus. If the eyes are overly strained while attempting to focus on a distant object, they can become crossed. This condition is known as accommodative esotropia, and can usually be treated with corrective lenses.

Genetics also play a prominent role in strabismus. Those with a parent who has strabismus have a much greater chance of developing the condition themselves. In addition, certain medical conditions such as Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and stroke put individuals at a higher risk or developing strabismus.

Signs and Symptoms

The most prominent sign of strabismus is the misalignment of eyes, which can lead to amblyopia and vision problems. Small angle strabismus often leads to eye strain and headaches. In addition, strabismus often causes young sufferers significant emotional stress, as it affects the ability to make normal eye contact with others.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Eye care professionals diagnose strabismus using a series of tests: visual acuity, refraction, alignment and focusing, and an examination of eye health. Once strabismus is diagnosed, it can be treated according to its cause and severity. A case of accommodative esotropia can be corrected with glasses, but more serious cases of strabismus might require muscle surgery and vision therapy.

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  • I have worn contact lenses for years but due to my strong near-sighted prescription with high astigmatism could get neither the comfort nor vision very good in standard gas permeable lenses or in soft lenses. I had reverted back to wearing glasses most of the time until Dr. Krywko recommended the SynergEyes lenses. They work great for me and I can finally wear contacts again! Thank you, Dr. Krywko!

    ...
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  • Dr. Candria Kryko is a wonderful OD. I was seen by Dr. Kryko in Scottsdale recently for an eye exam/contact lens fitting. She is extremely pleasant, attentive, and she took her time to give me a thorough exam and answer all of my questions. Dr. Kryko gave me recommendations on contacts and eye drops, as well, she gave me tips on how I can save on some of my contact expenses. She was professional, attentive, took the time to explain what was needed, and was simply nice to be around. I recommend Dr. Kryko. 

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  • My entire family have been seeing Dr. Krywko for years. The professionalism, care and focus are over the top. I was told by an optician I would not be a likely candidate for contact lenses. However with Dr. Krywko's patience and wisdom she was able to fit me for contact lenses that work perfectly! I am thrilled..........Plus, I also have the most gorgeous frames (when I do not want to wear my contacts. ) I receive comments every time I wear them, " where did you get your glasses!" Dr. Kryko just received the newest styles......I'm in trouble..........

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