Strabismus is a common inherited visual condition that occurs when the eyes do not properly align. This leaves one or both eyes turning outward, inward, upward, or downward. In America, this can be found in 4% of children, but it also can occur later in life.
In children, prolonged untreated esotropia (when the eye turns in) or exotropia (when the eye turns out) can permanently affect vision. Adults who develop strabismus later in life often complain of double vision.
Often times, strabismus can be treated with patching or with glasses. If these do not help, muscle surgery may be required.
Having your children checked for prescription error (glasses) and eye alignment is an important preventive measure to take during their developing years. If there is a strong family history of strabismus, "lazy eye", or if you have family members with thick glasses, your child should be checked before age 3.