Oculofacial Plastics Practice of Dr. Kimberly Cockerham

Adult Strabismus

Strabismus (eye misalignment) is commonly known as cross-eyed or wall-eyed due to extraocular muscle imbalance either increasing or decreasing the tension of the small muscle on the surface of the eye. These muscles move the eye in all directions. Strabismus occurs in approximately 2% of children under 3 years of age and about 3% of children and young adults.

The condition affects males and females equally. Strabismus has an inherited pattern, it is much more likely to occur if one or both parents are affected. However, many cases occur without any family history of the disorder.


Types of strabismus

Exotropia (phoria)

Exotropia is a form of strabismus (eye misalignment) where the eyes are deviated outward. Patients may notice double vision where objects are separated horizontally. Exophoria occurs when the eyes have a tendency to deviate outward, but the eye muscles are strong enough to compensate and keep the eyes pointing straight ahead.

Esotropia (phoria)

Esotropia is eye misalignment when the eyes are deviated inward. Patients may notice double vision where objects are separated horizontally. Esophoria occurs when the eyes have a tendency to deviate inward but the eye muscles are strong enough to compensate and keep the eyes pointing straight ahead.

Hyper or hypotropia

Occurs when the eyes are vertically misaligned. Patients may notice double vision where objects are separated vertically.

Symptoms

Patients with new exo, eso or hypertropia can have symptoms of double vision that improves with covering one eye, eye strain, or difficulty focusing. If strabismus is present from birth or childhood, double vision may or may not be present.

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