What is Esotropia, and How is it Treated?

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Esotropia is a type of strabismus, an eye condition in which each eye points in a different direction, i.e., one eye does not line up with the other. It's better known by its less-scientific name, "crossed eyes." And if you, or a loved one, suffer from such an affliction, we recommend you get in touch with us as soon as possible.

Our expert optical team, led by board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Benjamin Ticho, is excited to help you regain proper vision and enjoy long-lasting ocular health. So, contact us today or come see us at one of our offices in Chicago Ridge, IL, Tinley Park, IL, or Munster, IN.

What is esotropia and what causes it?

There are multiple types of strabismus, depending on the eyes' orientation (technically misorientation). If one or both of the eyes point inward, the condition is called esotropia. Ocular misalignment can point in any direction, however, such as inward (exotropia), upward (hypertropia), or downward (hypotropia). Overall, strabismus affects about 4% of the population, totaling approximately 13 million Americans.

Esotropia is further categorized based on several additional criteria. One is the age at onset. Still, it's recommended that any eye-crossing that occurs after four months of age be evaluated. But it's not solely a childhood condition, as esotropia can be acquired later in life. Another criterion is frequency. Esotropia can be constant or intermittent. It can affect one or both eyes, or it can switch between eyes.

The anatomical cause of all strabismus conditions is a muscular problem. Eye movements are controlled by a team of six tiny ocular muscles, which keep the eyes aligned and pointed in the same direction. If these minuscule muscles do not function properly, eye alignment is jeopardized.

Pathologically, family history is a major factor. Esotropia can be inherited, and around 30% of children with strabismus also have a relative with a similar condition. However, the severity, type, frequency, and other aspects are not always identical between family members. Esotropia can also be caused or influenced by refractive errors, poor vision in one eye, head injuries, neurological issues, and certain systemic diseases, like hyperthyroidism or diabetes.

Successful treatment relies on a proper, thorough examination and diagnosis. If you'd like to find out more and explore your options, reach out to us at Ticho Eye Associates today to set up a consultation with Dr. Ticho.

What visual problems are caused by esotropia, and what are the treatment options?

Children with esotropia do not always experience double vision (diplopia), as it's suppressed by the brain. But double vision is the most common symptom in adults. Esotropia can also blur one's vision, reduce the visual field, or disrupt depth perception and binocularity, or the eyes' ability to focus on the same subject.

There are many treatment options, including surgery. But don't worry, that's just a last resort. Actually, a report from the Optometrists Network analyzed optometric and ophthalmological journals and found that surgery had just a 48% success rate, compared to nonsurgical vision therapy, which had a much greater 78% success rate.

Alternative treatments include glasses or contact lenses, which can correct refractive errors and allow the eyes to maintain proper pointing. Medications such as eye drops may help. Or injectables, like BOTOX®, to relax overactive muscles. There are also some ocular exercises, or orthoptics, that can strengthen the underlying musculature. Even a temporary eyepatch may help treat misalignment by helping to improve eye control.

Contact us to find out more about our vision correction therapies

Don't let esotropia or any other strabismus-related condition sap your energy and decrease your life quality any longer. Reach out to us at Ticho Eye Associates in Chicago Ridge, IL, Tinley Park, IL, or Munster, IN so our board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Benjamin Ticho can correct your vision and get you back to fully enjoying your life!

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.