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How to Fix Crossed Eyes? | Long Island Eye Doctor

How to Fix Crossed Eyes?
Dr. Joel Kestenbaum

When I treat patients with crossed eyes (also called esotropia), the type of treatment I use depends on a number of factors:

  • The age of the patient
  • The reason the crossed eyes developed
  • The treatments done in the past

If it is early enough in the treatment, I can usually treat cross-eyed patients in my office without having to refer them to another eye professional for surgical intervention.

Crossed Eyes Medical terms

How Can we Treat Crossed Eyes?

Children are the most susceptible group to develop crossed eyes.  Because children are always growing and adapting, we still have a chance to easily correct esotropia when they are young.  As an adult, because we have stopped developing, correcting esotropia may require a more drastic approach, like surgery.

With children on the other hand, one of the eyes may just be lazy and the child is only using the strong eye to see.  In this case, patching therapy may be necessary.  This forces the child to use the lazy eye and the connection of the eye to the brain develops a stronger bond.  In the end, the lazy eye becomes stronger and the two eyes may function equally, giving the child a better chance of learning as easily as their peers.

In the case that the child is farsighted and has developed a disorder known as accommodative esotropia, the first treatment will be to prescribe eyeglasses. Accommodative esotropia is when a child has to focus abnormally hard to see objects in front of them.  This intense focusing causes the eyes to cross.  With most children, the eyes will go back to normal once they have eyeglasses to relieve some of the eye’s strain up close.

The Different Levels of Crossed Eyes

When people think of the words “crossed eyes” they think of the silly faces that we used to make at each other when we were kids.  The kind of faces that had us trying to look at the tip of our nose with both eyes, while doing something silly with our mouths.  As an optometrist, I have seen many different types of “crossed eyes” and in reality they don’t really cross in most cases.

The medical term for crossed eyes is esotropia, which is one type of strabismus. This means that one of the eyes is turned too far in the wrong direction.  There are three types of strabismus; esotropia, exotropia and hypertropia.

Esotropia is when one of the eyes is turned in too far.  Exotropia, the exact opposite of esotropia, is when one of the eyes is turned out too far.  Hypertropia describes the condition where one of the eyes is actually higher than the other.

What Happens if My Optometrist Can’t Treat my Crossed Eyes?

If I can’t treat your crossed eyes with non-surgical methods, I will refer you to an ophthalmologist for surgery.  Surgery will move the muscles surrounding the eye into a different position, and then eyeglasses and eye exercises will be necessary to strengthen the muscles.  Surgical intervention should always be the last option.

If you are interested in a highly respected optometrist’s opinion for yourself or a child, please visit Optix Family Eyecare Center, your Long Island Optometrists. Book an appointment online now or call us at 516-931-6330 to know more!

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