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What is strabismus?

Strabismus (crossed eyes) occurs when the extraocular muscles don't work correctly, and eyes do not focus on the same place at the same time. Some people are born with the condition, but certain diseases and injuries can cause it as well.

Strabismus is a visual defect in which the eyes are misaligned and point in different directions. One eye may look straight ahead, while the other eye turns inward, outward, upward or downward. The eye turn may be constant, or it may come and go. Which eye is straight (and which is misaligned) may switch or alternate.

Strabismus is a common condition among children. About 4 percent of all children in the United States have strabismus. It can also occur later in life. Strabismus occurs equally in males and females. It may run in families; however, many people with strabismus have no relatives with the problem.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.