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My Child’s Eye Wanders (Eye Turn)


An eye turn (strabismus) occurs when both eyes are not aligned straight. The eye will be turned outward or inward. Strabismus is typically diagnosed as a young child. As a child this can develop a condition called amblyopia.



Esotropia – Eye turned in towards the nose

Exotropia – Eye turned out towards the ear

Hypertropia – Eye turned up

Hypotropia – Eye turned down


Amblypia is a condition where the eye does not develop normally. This will cause a permanent reduction in vision. Amblyopia affects about 5% of the population. If one has an eye turn their brain will often suppress (turn off) the wandering eye. This is done to prevent double vision. However, when an eye is suppressed it is not correctly simulated during development. This will lead to amblyopia.


For children there are vision therapy exercises (including eye patching) and extra ocular muscle surgery that can be done to help the realignment of the eyes. For accommodative strabismus glasses often help significantly. Your doctor will discuss all the options available.


If an adult gets an acute eye turn this can be an indication of serious pathology (muscle palsy, brain hemorrhage, or stroke.) This would be accompanied with double vision and required immediate care.



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