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Strabismus is an eye condition in which the eyes do not properly align with each other while the patient is looking at a specific object. When suffering from Strabismus there is no specific eye that may be affected and the eye that is focused on an object may alternate. Additionally, this eye condition may be present occasionally or constantly.


A Medical Note! If Strabismus is present during the majority of a patient's childhood there is a chance that it might result in amblyopia, which is a loss of depth perception. If however, it is adult-onset Strabismus, it may result in the patient suffering from double vision.

Why Does Strabismus Occur?

Strabismus may occur for various reasons, with the most common being due to:


  • Muscle dysfunction

  • Farsightedness

  • Problems in the brain

  • Trauma

  • Infections


Certain medical factors such as premature birth, cerebral palsy and a family history of the condition may also increase the risk.

What Types of Strabismus Exist?

The following forms of Strabismus exist and can be diagnosed by an Ophthalmologist:



This is an eye condition in which the eyes are crossed.



 This is an eye condition in which the eyes diverge.



This is an eye condition in which the eyes are vertically misaligned.


A Medical Note! Strabismus can also be classified by whether the problem is present in the direction a patient looks. If it is in all directions it is known as Comitant Strabismus, while if it varies in direction it is known as Incomitant Strabismus. 

Symptoms of Strabismus

Strabismus in some instances might be very apparent due to the misalignment of the eyes. However, a small magnitude and even intermittent strabismus will easily be missed by the casual observer. The Symptoms of Strabismus include:


  • Double Vision

  • Eye Strain

  • Loss of Depth Perception

  • Headaches

  • Inability to Read Comfortably

  • Eye Fatigue While Reading 

  • Unstable Vision​​

The Diagnosis of Strabismus

An Ophthalmologist will use cover testing or the Hirschberg test to diagnose and measure strabismus to determine its impact on a patient's vision. In the case of young children, retinal birefringence scanning will be used on young children to determine eye misalignment.

The Medical Management of Strabismus

Strabismus can be treated by an Ophthalmologist depending on the reason for the misalignment of the eyes. This is usually done using a combination of eyeglasses, vision therapy, and surgery where necessary. The primary goal of Treating Strabismus is the promotion of comfortable, single, clear, normal binocular vision at all distances and directions of gaze.


Please contact Dr Aleksic's Practice Rooms in Sea Point, Cape Town to find out more about Strabismus and its varied treatments.

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