Strabismus is the scientific term used to explain an eye turn. In patients with strabismus the eyes will appear to be out of alignment. The condition can be caused by the brain’s inability to coordinate both eyes simultaneously. Children with strabismus may develop additional complications with amblyopia, or “lazy” eye.
Eye turns can be linked to either poor eye coordination and binocular balance or muscular imbalances. Muscular imbalances denote a mechanical problem with the eye muscles themselves, where there is limited movement due to restriction (e.g. Brown’s Syndrome) or paralysis (e.g. nerve palsies).
Signs to Look for – Find the Problem
- Have you noticed an eye turning in?
- Are they clumsier when with other kids?
- Do they complain they see double?
- Are you worried about eye surgery?
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- The eye can go “in” toward the nose. Esotropia
- It can go “out” from the nose. Exotropia
- It can go “up” or “down”. Hypertropia or Hypotropia
- It can happen part time or all the time. Intermittent
- It can be either eye. Eye turns do not always occur in isolation, so often patients may have more than one of the above.
An eye turn is not always constant and may only occur when the child is tired, or when they are looking at an object at a certain distance (accommodative problem) or in a certain direction (muscle imbalance). The degree of the turn is not always noticeable. Often smaller eye turns cause more symptoms and visual discomfort.
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