Strabismus and Amblyopia

What is strabismus?

Strabismus is one of the most common eye conditions in children, affecting between 2 and 4 percent of the population. Strabismus occurs when the eyes are not aligned properly. One or both of your child’s eyes may turn inward (esotropia), outward (exotropia), upward (hypertropia) or downward (hypotropia).

Your child can be born with strabismus or it be acquired later in life. Strabismus can also develop as the result of an accident or other health problem. In some children, strabismus is intermittent, while in others it is always present.

Early diagnosis is essential in preventing vision loss that occurs as a result of amblyopia, also called “lazy eye." Amblyopia from strabismus occurs when vision does not develop normally during childhood because the eyes are not aligned.

Dr. David Hunter is a pioneer in detecting and treating children’s eye conditions, like strabismus, with a range of new and tried-and-true technologies and techniques.

What are the complications of strabismus?

  • Amblyopia (lazy eye) occurs in up to one-half of younger children.
  • Diplopia (double vision) can occur in acquired strabismus in older children and adults.
  • Problems in socializing or working resulting from the appearance and function of the eyes

How we care for strabismus

The Pediatric Strabismus Service at Boston Children's Hospital offer comprehensive evaluation and correction of strabismus in babies, children and adults of all ages. Our highly experienced pediatric ophthalmologists are known locally and nationally for handling the most difficult cases of strabismus.

Many children and adults with complex strabismus that involves multiple eye muscles are routinely referred to Boston Children's. Here, we use baby- and child-friendly eye exams to detect strabismus and our physicians adopt innovative approaches to straighten your child’s eyes. Adults with strabismus are referred to our pediatric practice because ophthalmologists specially trained in childhood eye conditions have expertise in the delicate eye muscle surgery typically required to straighten the eyes.