Strabismus is an ocular "deviation" or lack in the alignment of the eyes.
While this condition may be evident, it may not be so obvious. In children, it may lead to reduced vision. In adults, it may cause double vision.
When strabismus occurs during the first year of life is called congenital. When it manifests after the age of two, hypermetropia is a likely cause. In adults, it may be caused by vascular diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure or cholesterol. Brain tumors, head trauma and other conditions such as autoimmune diseases, like myasthenia or thyroid gland dysfunction may also cause strabismus and double vision.
When the origin of strabismus is farsightedness, it is feasible to improve or cure the disorder by prescribing eyeglasses. In the rest of the cases, surgery is suggested to achieve proper eye alignment.
Orthoptic exercises are only useful for convergence insufficiency, a type of eye deviation that occurs in adults, when focusing at near.
Is strabismus a cosmetic issue?
No. For correct vision, both eyes must be aligned, to work together.
When does double vision occur?
When ocular deviation occurs, one perceives the objects double. In children younger than 8 years old, images of one eye can be suppressed.