Dr. Ajay Mohan (AIIMS)MBBS

November 30, 2018

March 06, 2020


What are Crossed Eyes?

Crossed eyes, medically known as strabismus, is a condition of misalignment of the eyes. An individual is unable to look in the same direction with both eyes. One eye may appear to turn inwards (esotropia), outwards (exotropia), upwards (hypertropia), or downwards (hypotropia). Wandering eyes is another term commonly used for crossed eyes.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

Signs and symptoms of crossed eyes include

  • Appearance of misaligned eyes when aiming to look in one direction
  • Abnormal head posture for compensation of the misalignment
  • Squinted vision with one eye closed when looking in a long distance or in the sunlight
  • Rubbing of the eyes

One does not always have symptoms. Occasional symptoms include

What are its main causes?

Although it can occur in adults, crossed eyes are more common in infants and children.

The common causes include

  • Poorly developed eye coordination in childhood
  • Excessive farsightedness (hyperopia) 
  • Problems with eye muscles, nerves, or brain that affect eye movement
  • Mental trauma, stroke, or other general health problems

Risk factors are as follows:

How is it diagnosed and treated?

Crossed eye diagnosis and treatment requires a comprehensive eye examination. The doctor may ask family members regarding the history of symptoms. An ophthalmologist will conduct a few tests to assess vision and eye coordination. These include tests to examine

  • Visual Acuity: This test assesses how much of your vision is affected. The test involves reading letters from a distance in varying sizes, which gives a fractional result of your visual ability.
  • Refractive Error: The doctor will diagnose the refractive error to determine the lens power required to compensate for the error
  • Eye Health: The doctor might use a split lens microscope to check the health of your eyes.

Treatment of crossed eyes includes

  • Eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • Vision therapy
  • Eye surgery