Strabismus is a condition in which a person's eyes are not correctly aligned. Often referred to as "lazy eye," strabismus typically presents itself with one eye aligned and moving regularly and the other settled pointing up or down, or off center to the left or right. The afflicted eye may alternate between one and the other; and the position of the eye may change, moving from properly aligned to off-center and then back again. There are several causes of strabismus. It's found more often in children and can be treated with minimally invasive techniques. Lazy eye occurs in about 4 percent of American children. Although rare, Strabismus can also occur later in life.
Technically, strabismus refers to being cross-eyed, while amblyopia indicates "lazy eye" or an eye that drifts to the side. Strabismus is the most common cause of lazy eye, resulting in one eye that moves inward or outward. However, a lazy eye may also be due to one eye's vision not being fully developed and can occur even without the cross-eyed presentation of strabismus. The underdeveloped muscles resulting in strabismus allow the eye to drift, creating vision problems. In amblyopia, the vision problems come first, demonstrated by the eye's inability to focus properly.
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