What is Strabismus?
Strabismus or tropia are the medical terms for eye conditions commonly called by various names: eye turns, crossed eyes, cross-eyed, wall-eyes, wandering eyes, deviating eye, etc. Strabismus is not the same condition as "lazy eye" (amblyopia).
A strabismus is defined as a condition in which the eyes deviate (turn) when looking at the object of regard. The object of regard would be the target that you, the patient, regards (aims eyes toward, looks at!). Eye doctors generally look for the presence of a strabismus when looking at distance (20 feet or more); at near (16 inches for an adult and 13 inches for a child); and the lateral and vertical directions (up, down, left, or right).
When the eye turn occurs all of the time, it is called constant strabismus. When the eye turn occurs only some of the time, it is called intermittent strabismus. With intermittent strabismus, the eye turn might be observed only occasionally, such as during stressful situations or when the person is ill.
Constant or Intermittent Strabismus?
This is one of the most important findings the eye doctor makes! This distinction has a great impact on decisions regarding timing and types of treatment. It is important for you, as a parent, or patient to understand the difference. See Constant or Intermittent?
Different Types of Strabismus
Strabismus is classified into many different types. Each type has its own causes, characteristics, and appropriate treatment plan. Dr. Cooper's article, What is Strabismus?, discusses all the types of strabismus and their treatments. You can also refer to the pull-lists in the yellow box on every page.