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What Is Strabismus?

Strabismus is a common eye-movement disorder where the eyes are not aligned correctly. Either one or both eyes may turn inward, outward, up, or down, which is why strabismus is also called wandering eye or cross eyes. In most cases strabismus is caused by abnormal neuromuscular control of eye movement. Strabismus can also be caused by poor muscle strength.

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Strabismus affects adults and children in different ways. Symptoms of strabismus in children are usually mild. Parents may notice that children tilt their head to one side to compensate or close and cover the deviating eye. Diagnosing this condition early is very important to reduce the loss of the child’s vision.

Adult Strabismus Symptoms

Symptoms of strabismus in adults may be more severe. Patients with this condition lose their binocular vision, which can cause double vision and loss of depth perception. As a result, patients may suffer from headaches or eye strain.


Treatment of strabismus may include any of the following:

  • Putting a patch over the stronger eye to increase strength in the weaker eye
  • Eyeglasses
  • Eye-drops
  • Surgery to straighten the eyes
  • Eye exercises