Crossed eyes, or strabismus, occurs when both eyes do not look at the same place at the same time. It usually occurs in people who have poor eye muscle control or are extremely farsighted. About four percent of all children in the United States have crossed eyes. It can cause reduced vision in the weaker eye.

Each eye has six muscles to control how it moves. These muscles receive signals from the brain that direct movement. Normally, both eyes work together. Sometimes, though, an eye may turn in, out, up or down. This can happen with one eye or with both eyes. Over time, the brain will learn to ignore the image from the turned eye.

With careful monitoring, your eye doctor can begin treatment before a child’s sight is affected.

Treating strabismus

  • Eyeglasses or contact lenses. Some patients may only need this to correct the problem.
  • Prism lenses. Special lenses can reduce how much turning an eye must do to view an object.
  • Vision therapy. Your doctor may prescribe a program of visual exercises to improve eye coordination and eye focusing.
  • Eye muscle surgery.

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