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Lazy Eye

Lazy Eye (Strabismus, Exotropia Esotropia) Symptoms and Causes

Lazy Eye (Strabismus, Exotropia and Esotropia) Description

Strabismus, also known as "wandering eye" or "crossed eyes," is a misalignment of the eyes. The two eyes do not line up in the same direction and do not look at the same object simultaneously. Esotropia is a type of or eye misalignment in which the eyes deviate inward and are "crossed." Exotropia refers to eye misalignment in which the eyes deviate outward.

Pediatric strabismus is a common problem that affects approximately four percent of children under the age of six. One or both eyes may turn inward, outward, upward, or downward. Sometimes, more than one of these conditions is present simultaneously. If the strabismus is not treated, the eye that the brain ignores will never see well.

Lazy Eye (Strabismus, Exotropia and Esotropia) Symptoms

It is normal for a newborn baby's eyes to move independently of one another, sometimes they even cross. But, by the time infants are three to four months old, their eyes should be straight, with no turning, and they should be able to focus on objects. Parents should notice these symptoms of lazy eye:

  • Your child's eyes are moving inward or outward
  • Your child is not focusing on objects
  • Your child's eyes seem to be crossed

If these strabismus symptoms exist, seek medical attention. Up to 50 percent of children with strabismus will also develop secondary vision loss known as amblyopia,

Strabismus symptoms may resemble other medical conditions. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.

Lazy Eye (Strabismus, Exotropia and Esotropia) Causes

Experts do not fully understand what causes strabismus. However, strabismus results from failure of the eye muscles to work together. Most of the time, strabismus has to do with muscle control, not muscle strength. The brain controls the eye muscles, which are attached to the outside of each eye. Half of the children with strabismus are born with it. All forms of strabismus have been found to cluster in families; however, a single inherited cause has not been identified. There also appears to be a higher incidence of pediatric strabismus in children who have disorders that affect the brain, such as cerebral palsy or hydrocephalus. Strabismus may also occur later in life as a result of an illness, cataract, or eye injury. Less often, problems with one of the nerves or muscles or Graves' disease restriction may cause strabismus.