How to Recognize and Manage Strabismus in Children

Crossed eyes, or strabismus, is a condition that alters the eyes' alignment. When the muscles that control eye movement do not coordinate properly, the eyes point in different directions. Strabismus can cause further concerns, including visual issues, if not corrected. 

Recognizing Strabismus in Children

Look for the Signs

The most common sign of strabismus is when the eyes are not aligned. When one eye stares straight ahead, the other may turn in, out, up, or down. This misalignment can be constant or may come and go. 

The misalignment may occasionally be so slight that it is not immediately apparent. Parents may also observe additional symptoms in these situations. These include squinting, closing one eye, or leaning the head to one side.

Observe Your Child's Behavior

Children with strabismus may have difficulty focusing on objects. They may have trouble with depth perception, affecting their ability to catch a ball or judge distances. They may also experience double vision or headaches.

Check Family History

Strabismus can be hereditary. Have you or your partner ever had strabismus or another eye issue? Your child may be more likely to develop the condition if such is the case.

Managing Strabismus in Children

Consult an Eye Doctor

You should consult a pediatric eye doctor if your little one has strabismus. An eye doctor will perform a thorough eye exam to diagnose the illness and identify the best treatment.

Patching Therapy

In some cases, the eye doctor may recommend patching therapy. That involves covering the good eye with a patch to force the lazy eye to work harder. This can help improve the vision in the weaker eye and encourage both eyes to work together.

Eyeglasses or Contact Lenses

Strabismus is sometimes correctable with eyeglasses or contact lenses. These can assist in enhancing eye alignment and easing stress on the muscles that regulate the eyes.


Surgery might be necessary for strabismus patients with severe symptoms. The procedure involves tightening or loosening the muscles that control the eyes to improve their alignment.

Vision Therapy

A form of ocular physical therapy is vision therapy. It involves exercises and activities designed to improve eye muscle control and coordination. It may assist in enhancing eye alignment and easing strabismus symptoms.

Monitor Your Youngster's Progress

Once your child starts receiving treatment for strabismus, keeping track of his/her visual development is crucial. Frequent eye exams can ensure the condition is not worsening and that the treatment is effective.

Encourage Your Little One to Wear Their Patch or Glasses

Encourage your youngster to use the patch or eyeglasses as the pediatric eye specialist instructs. Consistent use can help ensure the treatment is effective.

Be Patient

Treating strabismus can take time. It may take several months to see significant improvement. Maintaining the course of treatment as prescribed by the eye doctor requires patience.


By recognizing the signs of strabismus and seeking prompt treatment, parents can help their children manage the condition. This can help prevent potential complications.

For more on strabismus, visit Clarendon Vision Development Center at our Westmont, Illinois office. Call (630) 323-7300 to schedule an appointment today.

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