Experts don’t completely understand the cause of strabismus, but it results from the failure of the eye muscles to work together.
Idiopathic (resulting from an unknown cause) strabismus is the most common type. Other conditions can also cause strabismus:
- Duane syndrome
- Moebius syndrome
- Thyroid eye disease
- Nerve damage
- Cerebral injuries
- Fracture of the orbital wall
- Family history of strabismus
- Prematurity or low birth weight
- Retinopathy of prematurity
- Conditions that affect vision, such as cataracts, severe ptosis and corneal scars
- Muscular abnormalities
- Neurological abnormalities
- Amblyopia (or lazy eye)
As many as 4 percent of children have strabismus.
SymptomsWhat are the symptoms of strabismus?
Babies and children with strabismus should be checked right away to prevent amblyopia, which results in loss of vision and depth perception due to the misaligned eye. Amblyopia can occur even if the eye is only slightly misaligned, because a developing child's brain will stop communicating with that eye, shutting it off. This is why amblyopia is sometimes referred to as "lazy eye".
Unfortunately, it isn't always easy for parents to tell if a child's eyes are misaligned, particularly in those children with a mild case of strabismus. If your child is showing any of the following signs and symptoms of strabismus, you should call today and schedule an appointment for an eye exam with one of our pediatric ophthalmologists.
- Strabismus in newborns. Many parents are told that a baby’s eyes may not be completely aligned in the first three months of life. It is not unusual for a baby's eyes to occasionally wander outward, but if this happens all the time or if the eyes cross inward, especially constantly, your baby should have an eye exam.
- Strabismus after 3 months of age. If you notice one or both of your baby's eyes wandering out or crossing in after 3 months of age, your baby should have an eye exam.