Types of Strabismus and How They Affect Vision

Strabismus is a vision disorder in which both eyes do not line up in the same direction at the same time. Let’s understand the different types of strabismus (crossed eyes) and their effects on the vision of a human. 

Types of Strabismus, crossed eyes,

Types of Strabismus (Crossed Eyes) and How They Affect Vision

Strabismus is a relatively common eye condition that affects both children and adults. It occurs when the muscles that control eye movement do not work together correctly, causing the eyes to point in different directions. This misalignment can be constant or intermittent and affect one or both eyes. Strabismus can cause a range of visual problems, including double vision, poor depth perception, and eye strain. It can also significantly impact a person's self-esteem and ability to socialize.

There are different types of strabismus, each with its own unique set of characteristics and symptoms. Understanding the different types of strabismus and their effects on vision is crucial for proper diagnosis and treatment. In this blog, we will delve into the various types of strabismus and explore the available treatment options. We will also look at how early detection and treatment can improve visual outcomes and quality of life. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of strabismus, read on to learn more about this condition and how it can be effectively managed.

  1. Esotropia: This type of strabismus occurs when one or both eyes turn inward. It can affect near vision and cause double vision, eye strain, and headaches.

  2. Exotropia: Exotropia is the opposite of esotropia, where one or both eyes turn outward. This type of strabismus can affect distance vision and cause double vision and eye strain.

  3. Hypertropia: This type of strabismus occurs when one eye is higher than the other. It can cause double vision and affect depth perception.

  4. Duane Syndrome: Duane Syndrome is a rare type of strabismus affecting eye movement muscles. It can cause limited eye movement, double vision, and head tilting.

  5. Congenital Fourth Nerve Palsy: This type of strabismus is caused by a nerve abnormality that affects the movement of the eye. It can cause double vision and difficulty with head positioning.

  6. Sixth Nerve Palsy: Sixth Nerve Palsy is caused by damage to the sixth cranial nerve, which controls the movement of the lateral rectus muscle. It can cause double vision and difficulty with lateral gaze.

  7. Accommodative Esotropia: This type of strabismus occurs when the eyes are not properly aligned due to focusing difficulties. It is common in children and can be corrected with glasses, vision therapy, or surgery.

  8. Alternating Strabismus: This type of strabismus occurs when one eye is used to look at objects while the other eye is turned off. It can cause the brain to suppress the image from the turned off eye, leading to poor vision in that eye.

  9. Paralytic Strabismus: This type of strabismus occurs due to a weakness or paralysis in the eye muscles, which can be caused by nerve damage, head trauma, or stroke. It can cause double vision, eye misalignment, and difficulty with eye movement.

  10. Non-Paralytic Strabismus: This type of strabismus occurs when the eye muscles are not working together properly, but there is no paralysis or weakness involved. It can be caused by a variety of factors, such as vision problems or muscle imbalances, and can be treated with vision therapy or surgery.

  11. Strabismic Amblyopia: This is a type of lazy eye that occurs when the brain suppresses the image from the turned eye in order to avoid double vision. It can lead to poor vision in the turned eye and can be treated with vision therapy, patching, or surgery.

Strabismus Treatment Options

Now that we have discussed the different types of strabismus and how they affect vision, let's look at the available strabismus treatment options:

  1. Eyeglasses: Eyeglasses are one of the most common treatment options for refractive errors such as near-sightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. These errors can cause the eyes to focus improperly, leading to blurry vision. By prescribing corrective lenses, eyeglasses can help redirect light entering the eyes to properly focus on the retina, improving vision clarity and quality. Additionally, eyeglasses can also be used to correct issues with eye alignment, particularly in cases where a refractive error causes the misalignment.

  2. Patching: Amblyopia, also known as "lazy eye," is a condition where the brain and eyes do not work together properly, resulting in reduced vision in one eye. Patching is a treatment option used to improve vision in the weaker eye by forcing it to work harder. By covering the stronger eye with a patch, the brain is forced to rely on the weaker eye, which can help improve its function and visual acuity over time. Patching is typically used along with other treatments, such as eyeglasses or vision therapy, to help correct the underlying cause of amblyopia.

  3. Vision Therapy: Vision therapy is a non-surgical treatment option involving exercises and activities designed to improve eye alignment and strengthen the muscles responsible for controlling eye movements. These exercises can help improve visual acuity, reduce eye strain and fatigue, and correct eye teaming and tracking issues. Vision therapy is often used in cases where eyeglasses or surgery are not effective or appropriate or in conjunction with these treatments to maximize their effectiveness.

  4. Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct strabismus, a condition where the eyes are misaligned and do not work together properly. Surgery aims to realign the eyes and improve binocular vision, which can help reduce double vision and improve depth perception. Several surgical techniques are used to correct strabismus, including muscle resection, muscle recession, and adjustable suture surgery. 

In addition to the available treatment options, some additional factors can affect the treatment of strabismus. For instance, age is an important factor to consider when determining the most appropriate treatment approach. Early diagnosis and treatment of strabismus are crucial in children to prevent long-term vision problems. In some cases, strabismus treatment may need to be continued for a longer period of time to ensure optimal results.

Another factor to consider is the underlying cause of strabismus. Some cases of strabismus may be caused by underlying medical conditions such as thyroid problems, diabetes, or neurological disorders. Treating the underlying condition may be necessary to manage strabismus effectively.

In some cases, lifestyle changes may also be recommended as part of the treatment plan. For instance, reducing screen time and taking frequent breaks from activities requiring prolonged visual concentration can help alleviate eye strain and fatigue symptoms.

It is important to note that the treatment for strabismus varies depending on the type and severity of the condition. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of strabismus, it is important to consult an eye specialist. Dr Agarwal's Eye Hospital is a renowned eye care centre specializing in diagnosing and treating various eye conditions, including strabismus. They have a team of experienced doctors who can provide a comprehensive evaluation and personalized strabismus treatment plan. Don't hesitate to book an appointment with them for expert care and treatment for your eyes.


  1. What causes strabismus?

Strabismus can be caused by a variety of factors, including problems with the eye muscles, nerve problems, and genetics. In some cases, a person's brain may struggle to coordinate the movement of their eyes, leading to strabismus.

  1. How is strabismus diagnosed?

Strabismus can typically be diagnosed with a comprehensive eye exam. During the exam, an eye doctor will evaluate a person's eye movements and check for any misalignment or other issues that could be causing strabismus.

  1. Can strabismus be treated?

Yes, strabismus can be treated. Treatment options depend on the underlying cause of the condition and may include eye exercises, glasses or contact lenses, vision therapy, or surgery. It's important to seek treatment for strabismus as it can lead to vision problems and difficulty with depth perception if left untreated.

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