Crossed Eyes (Strabismus)

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Crossed eyes, called strabismus, is a misalignment of your child’s eyes. Sometimes called wandering eye, it is one of the most common eye conditions in children. One or both eyes may turn downward, upward or sideways out of alignment with the other eye.

In newborns, it is normal for the eyes to move independently. This usually stops at around three or four months of age, at which point your newborn’s eyes should move together and be able to focus on objects.

Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Strabismus

The cause of crossed eyes is not clear. Failure of the eye muscles to work together may be a factor. Certain brain conditions, such as cerebral palsy, may also cause strabismus. It also tends to run in families.

The symptoms of crossed eyes may be different in each case and may mimic the symptoms of other conditions.

Contact your child's health care provider if you notice that your child’s eyes have become misaligned or if your child’s eye has trouble focusing. If left untreated, strabismus may lead to vision problems or other eye issues.

Treatment for strabismus may include:

  • Eye exercises
  • Eye drops
  • Eyeglasses
  • Surgery
  • Eye patch over the unaffected eye to improve the affected eye