Strabismus means eye misalignment, whether the eyes are drifting in, out, up, or down. There are many different causes of strabismus. It can be inherited, a result of an eye or nerve disease, secondary to trauma, occur after eye surgeries, or have no explainable reason at all. Children can be born with strabismus, or it can be acquired as an older child or adult. Commonly, it is first seen between 2-2.5 years old.
When children have strabismus, they may squint or rub the eyes and experience blurry vision. Decreased vision and difficulty developing depth perception (or 3D vision) can be worrisome side effects of strabismus. For adults and older children, eye misalignment commonly causes double vision and can decrease depth perception. Outgrowing strabismus, or eye misalignment, depending on the amount of deviation, is uncommon without some form of treatment. Sometimes patients need to patch, use eye drops at home, do eye exercises, or even undergo surgery.