Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes are not properly aligned with each other. This is caused when eye muscles do not work properly to control the alignment necessary for the brain to merge images from each eye. During your initial eye examination your ophthalmologist may perform cover testing or the Hirschberg test to diagnose and measure the severity of your strabismus and its effect on how well you see.
Treatments for strabismus may include prescription eyewear, patching, eye exercises, medicines, and surgery. Resolving amblyopia, a condition where one eye is not used enough to stimulate proper receptor development in the brain, may improve strabismus. The most severe cases require surgery that changes the length of muscles around the eye, to improve alignment.
Without treatment, strabismus can cause permanent vision problems. A newborn’s eyes should align by the age of four months. Children older than four months should have an initial eye exam if there is an obvious problem.