Strabismus

Image of man covering one eye.

Strabismus is the medical term for the misalignment of the eyes. Commonly referred to as cross-eyed or wall-eyed, strabismus may involve either one or both eyes turning inward, outward or even up or down. It is one of the most common vision conditions in young children, affecting somewhere between 2 and 4 percent of the population.

Symptoms of strabismus typically reveal themselves in children between the ages of 1 and 4. In some cases, children with strabismus experience double vision or low vision in general, and those who may be too young to vocalize their discomfort may tilt their heads or squint frequently. Many children will not report vision problems on their own and, typically, parents or teachers notice a misalignment of the eyes.

What Causes Strabismus?

Strabismus can have many different causes. In particular, strabismus is often caused by abnormal functioning of: the part of the brain that controls eye movements, the nerves that transmit signals to the muscles or the eye muscles themselves. It can also be caused by certain general health problems, eye conditions, head injuries, refractive errors or, in part, family history.

Types of Strabismus

Common types of strabismus include the following:

Esotropia is the most common cause of childhood strabismus. It tends to appear very early on in a person’s life — primarily occurring in infants — and involves one eye turning inward, toward the nose, instead of aligning with the second eye and looking straight ahead.

Exotropia often appears in children between the ages of 1 and 6. Exotropia occurs when one eye turns outward, away from the nose. This type of strabismus is commonly referred to as walleye.

Hypertropia is considered the least common form of strabismus. This form of strabismus, also referred to as vertical deviation, is characterized by one eye turning upward, toward the eyebrow.

Strabismus Treatment Options

Treatment for strabismus is tailored to address the initial source of the problem and can vary depending on the severity of the eye misalignment.

One of the most common treatments for strabismus is eye patching. If the same eye consistently turns in the same direction, a patch may be placed over the regularly functioning eye. In this way, patching may be used to train the weaker eye to do the “seeing” work in place of the stronger eye. Patches block out all light and, over time, may strengthen the eye and restore alignment. Depending on the case, children may be recommended to wear a patch anywhere from only a few hours a day to, occasionally, more than six hours each day.

How Vision Therapy Can Help With Strabismus

Vision therapy involves an individualized, non-surgical treatment program that is designed to help correct or improve certain eye conditions, including strabismus. Treatment will vary, depending on the eye condition and the patient’s unique visual needs. Specific exercises — including ones that address eye alignment, eye teaming, focusing abilities and more — can be used to help manage strabismus and realign the eyes.

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Reviews From Our Satisfied Patients

    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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    By far the best experience I've had. She took her time to know me, and I received education about my eyesight, and choices I had. The modern technology showed me my options with a prescription and without. The office was on time, professional and inviting. The best for the entire family.

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    Dr. Krywko listens and identifies the issues with the eyes! I don’t feel like a number - the time was spent to understand what issues I was having and a comprehensive solution developed! I followed Dr. Krywko from her previous location as she’s THAT good! The team she has surrounded herself with is top notch as well! (Thank you Liz)

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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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    Being new to this state, I can honestly say this is the best eye doctor and I made a good decision coming here. They took the time and patience to help!

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