Pediatric Esotropia (Cross-Eyed)

Pediatric Esotropia (Cross-Eyed)

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Summary

Pediatric esotropia occurs when one or both of a child’s eyes turn inward toward their nose (cross-eyed).

Expanded overview

When one or both of a child’s eyes turn inward towards their nose, the child has esotropia (cross-eyed). Pediatric esotropia occurs when the child is trying to focus on something in their close field of vision or long-distance field of vision. Most children with esotropia are farsighted (have trouble seeing items up close). Esotropia can affect the ability of the child’s eyes to work together.  

Causes

Esotropia can be caused by multiple factors, including:

  • Prematurity — when baby is born more than three weeks before due date
  • Family history — condition is passed down through the generations
  • Neurological disorders — such as cerebral palsy
  • Genetic disorders — such as Down syndrome
  • Systemic disorders — such as diabetes
  • Poor vision — specifically farsightedness (trouble with seeing objects up close)

Types

Pediatric esotropia can occur in one or both eyes; it can also alternate between eyes. Esotropia is typically classified into the following types:

  • Accommodative or non-accommodative esotropia – ability of the child’s crossed eyes to be treated and corrected by glasses.
  • Congenital/infantile or acquired esotropia – determined by if the child is born with esotropia or if they acquire it during childhood.
  • Intermittent or constant esotropia – describes if the child’s eye crossing is occasional or frequent.

Symptoms

The most common symptom in pediatric esotropia is crossed eyes. Additional symptoms include:

  • Decreased depth perception
  • Double vision
  • Inability to focus vision

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