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Strabismus is a vision problem in which both eyes do not look at the same point at the same time. It usually develops during childhood and is sometimes called "crossed-eyes," "walleye," or "squint."
Normally, the muscles attached to each eye work together to move both eyes in the same direction at the same time. Strabismus occurs when the eye muscles do not work properly to control eye movement. Often the cause is not known. Causes may include farsightedness, head injury, and muscle and nerve disorders that weaken or damage the muscles that control eye movement.
Without treatment, strabismus can cause permanent vision problems. Not using one eye can also lead to poor vision in that eye (called lazy eye or amblyopia).
Last Revised: March 8, 2013
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
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