The most typical case of misalignment of the eyes is that of strabismus, a condition characterized by the lack of convergence between the visual axis of the eyes caused by visual impairment or lack of coordination between the ocular muscles. When the eyes are misaligned, the brain receives tow different images. This can create double vision or confusion, and if left untreated for a longer period of time, it can lead to permanent reduction of vision in one eye (lazy eye or amblyopia).
Crossed eyes can also be a symptom of other disorders or diseases such as lazy eye (amblyopia), trauma, cancer, stroke, or a condition linked to retinal damage, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, or spina bifida.
Strabismus is classified by the direction the eye turns:
- Inward turning (esotropia)
- Outward turning (exotropia)
- Upward turning (hypertropia)
- Downward turning (hypotropia)
Treatment for strabismus may include wearing eyeglasses, undergoing eye surgery or going to vision therapy. If detected early, strabismus can often be corrected and further complications such as vision loss can be prevented.
What diseases may be associated with crossed eyes?
The main diseases associated with crossed eyes include the following:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Myasthenia gravis
- Down syndrome
- Graves’ disease- Basedow
Keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive and it is always a good idea to consult with a doctor regarding any questions, concerns, or if symptoms persist.
What are possible treatment options for crossed eyes?
Treatment options for crossed eyes vary depending on whether the disorder is linked to acute and persistent or transient conditions. In cases where the problem is due to strabismus, treatment generally depends on the severity of the problem: glasses may be used to correct any visual defect; exercises may be helpful for greater coordination between the eyes, and surgery can be undergone; however, the treatment itself is not without its risks and complications.
In the case of lazy eye (amblyopia), treatment options may include wearing glasses to correct defective vision, wearing a bandage over the eye dominant to strengthen the muscles of the lazy eye, using eyes drops, and in selective cases, undergoing eye muscle surgery.
The most suitable and appropriate treatment options should be given by a doctor after a specialist and greatly depend on the individual and the severity of their condition.
When is it advised to consult with a doctor regarding crossed eyes?
In order to evaluate the need for seeking medical attention, a distinction between long-term misalignment problems and symptoms that occur suddenly must be made. In cases of long term misalignment problems, an individual needs to see an eye doctor and undergo periodic visits. In cases where an individual has normal alignment however suddenly loses symmetry, urgent medical care is highly advised, as it can be a symptom of a more serious problem such as a stroke.
In many cases, crossed eyes can be corrected with treatment, though some vision problems may still occur after surgery.
Seeking treatment is important in order to prevent further damage such as vision loss and since the condition can sometimes recur, it is also important to monitor it on a regular basis.