Strabismus is synonymous with crossed eyes or wandering eye. This condition may either be very noticeable or not noticeable at all. It can manifest itself by an eye, or eyes, turning inward, outward, or up or down. This condition can be congenital from birth or acquired later on in life.
Strabismus can have no symptoms at all, but often it is associated with amblyopia (lazy eye), double vision, or lack of depth perception. It is often socially difficult for the individual.
If strabismus develops in the first 5 to 6 years of life, amblyopia is often associated with it since the brain is capable to shut down the visual input from the wandering eye to avoid double vision. If the wandering eye and the amblyopia are not treated in the first 6 years of life the amblyopia typically becomes irreversible.
Strabismus is usually treated with corrective surgery however some types of the condition can be treated with glasses. Glasses that treat it may contain either prisms and/or bifocals. The main purpose of these types of glasses is to minimize the double vision that often is associated with strabismus. In some childhood types of strabismus, glasses may completely cure the condition.