Strabismus

Strabismus is commonly referred to as a crossed eye or wandering eye. It is a visual condition in which a person’s eyes do not point at the same object at the same time. The result is the appearance of one eye turning in relationship to the other. Sometimes the strabismus angle is so small that an observer may not detect the eye turn. A person with strabismus has reduced binocular function and stereoscopic depth perception, but usually does not see double. That is because of a brain adaptation known as suppression, where the deviated eye is actively “turned off” by the brain. If left untreated, the turned eye may develop reduced visual acuity, a condition known as amblyopia, or lazy eye. Unfortunately, strabismus will not go away on its own and children do not outgrow it. Occasionally, surgical correction of the strabismus is also necessary to achieve alignment of the eyes. Spectacle lenses and vision therapy are often required to establish “fusion” of the images from each eye into a single percept.

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