“Crossed eyes” is the common name for strabismus. Strabismus is the deviation of one or both eyes from a single line of vision. The two eyes are supposed to see an object as a single image but due to some defects in the eyes that prevent this single image from occurring, the brain begins to see the images separating from each eye. Crossed eye is a response by the brain to achieve a single image instead of having a double image of the same object.

Crossed eyes could be an inward or outward deviation.

What causes crossed eyes?

The crossed eye is usually caused by the muscle defect responsible for focusing the eyes on the same object to produce a single image, making it impossible to maintain a single image. This is usually hereditary, especially in kids and it is diagnosed when around the age of 1 year to 4 years old.

Another cause is refractive in one or both eyes that the eyes are not able to compensate for. For example, a child that has high hyperopia in just one eye and no refractive error in the other eye. This can result in the hyperopic eye cross as a result of too much to maintain a single image.


How to help a child with crossed eyes.

  1. Glasses prescription: As soon as a child is observed to have crossed eyes, an appointment to see the Optometrist should be the first call. The eye doctor will know the best glasses recommendation to give the best result depending on the severity of the crossed eye.
  2. Vision Therapy: The eyes can undergo some visual training that helps to strengthen the muscles in the eyes. This may be advised for cases where glasses prescription may not help. Therapy may involve patching one eye (the better eye) to allow the weaker eye to be stimulated when in focus.
  3. Eye drops: Dilating eye drops are used on the better eye to make the vision blur and to bring the weaker eye into focus. This is an alternative to an eye patch.

What happens if a child does not get medical attention on time?

The strabismus will get worse and this will affect the child’s educational and social development. This usually results in either of the eyes becoming lazy and unable to see objects clearly.



A child with crossed eyes needs the attention of an optometrist or an ophthalmologist for proper diagnosis and the best approach.




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