What Is Strabismus And How Common Is It?

Question: What is strabismus and how common is it?

Answer: Strabismus is the medical term for any type of eye misalignment which can occur in children or in adults. Strabismus in children has a prevalence of about 2 percent in the United States. Eye misalignment, which sometimes parents can describe as a lazy eye, can appear as if the child's eye is crossing, and we term this esotropia, or the eye can appear as if it's wandering or drifting off and we term this exotropia. It's very important for parents and primary care providers to be aware of strabismus because of its effect on the visual development of a child. Between birth and age 10 it's critical that we identify any ocular conditions that can affect the visual development, as well as the depth perception, that is developing during this time.