Intermittant Exotropia/ Strabismus/Astigmatism

Updated on August 18, 2011
A.S. asks from Chicago, IL
7 answers

My 6 year old had been showing signs of a lazy eye since about age three it was very rare and the Dr. advised that these things sometime clear on their own. When he started kindergarten it began to be more frequent and after a visit with the pediatric ophthalmologist today he explained that the cause of the condition was due to weak eye muscles and the only way to correct would be surgery. I thought that all muscles can be developed with proper exercise regiments. I believe we may see another specialist for a second opinion. The Doctor claimed that this condition hardly affects my sons vision it has more to do with appearance which is a factor to consider as we all know some children ....and some adults can be really cruel.Can anyone suggest where I may find an alternative treatment.

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answers from San Antonio on

Okay the doctor who said it would clear on its own was full of sh*t. The pediatric ophthalmologist was telling you the truth, surgery is usually the way to go with these issues. My daughter has surgery to correct her intermittant exotropis and strabismus right after her third birthday.

Which doctor told you that it hardly effects his vision? Because eventually the the brain will stop reading signals from the wandering eye and he will no longer see out of that eye. This then means the child has no depth perception. The brain cannot handle the double vision that is caused by the eyes not being aligned.

It used to be though that exercises could fix this step sister went this route and her eye still turns out if she gets tired and is not concentrating on keeping them aligned.

My daughters surgery went perfectly and her eyes are beautiful and straightly aligned. I too was totally against surgery but after doing my homework on line and talking with our pediatric husband and I realized it was the best way to fix it

If you want to message me I know a lot about this topic, as when you have a child with this (it is totally a genetic thing, runs though our family) you learn the lingo and all your options.

I spotted the condition in a friend's child when she was about 9 months old. My friend got really mad at me when I mentioned it and said her pediatrician told her her daughters eyes were just fine. I was just seeing it everywhere because my own daughter had it. Over two years later it was actually diagnosed and her daughter had lost vision in one eye and is now having to wear thick glasses and patching the good eye to try and regain vision. That might have been prevented with an earlier diagnosis.

Get a second diagnosis, but do not wait around on it. Sending you a huge hug!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I used to work at Dallas Services for the Visually Impaired and agree with Retta.The first doctor should have sent you to a pediatric ophthalmologist sooner.


answers from San Francisco on

My son had lazy eye. It was corrected by patching the good eye, forcing the other eye's muscles to work. At a certain age, this no longer works, which could be why they're recommending surgery. You might try another doctor to see if patching could still be used.



answers from Chicago on

as someone who was born with crossed eyes, it does affect more then just how I look - I don't see 3D at all, I have NO depth perception and the eye that crossed/wandered is almost blind from not being forced to be used.
If your insurance will cover it go to Dr. Guay Bhatia. She is AMAZING. I am 42 and I go to her since she is so great. She is a pediatric opthamologist and the expert on that specific vision issue - she gives lectures on it nationally and is considered the national expert in it.
Patching is what will most probably work best. My daughter's was fixed and now has better then 20/20 vision due to patching.



answers from New York on

My child doesn't have this but I was a social worker and had a child I worked with that had this condition. He was a young teen and had lost the depth perception but he had the surgery and it went well. His eyes looked perfectly aligned after the surgery. Unfortunately it was too late to fix his depth perception.

I have seen very small babies a few weeks old straighten out on their own but if the kid is older I believe treatment is needed (though not always surgery).


answers from Minneapolis on

I'm sorry that the doctor you seen at 3 told you to leave it alone. If you had started then, it would have been patching and correction. Now it may be past the point of helping and require surgery. :(

My now 9yr old has been through patching and still wears glasses. My 4yr old daughter has extreme astigmatism that was never corrected (should have been from 6mos or so, but she was in an orphanage in Ukraine until she was 3.5 and we adopted her). So she wears glasses now for correction for the astigmatism and farsightendess. Because of the astigmatism, her eyes crossed badly. She also has CP so the right side is affected more ,and that caused her right eye to turn in more too. With correction her eyes are great, hardly ever crossing now (only when tired or without glasses).

I would get a second opinion just for your own peace of mind, but it does need correction, and it does affect his vision.



answers from Chicago on

I think that the doctor you saw when your child was 3 was wrong. Lazy eye needs to be corrected as early as possible. When the brain doesn't receive the same message from each eye, or the quality of the message isn't the same, the brain will stop "speaking" to the weaker eye resulting in blindness in the weak eye eventually. 6 is pretty old to start working on lazy eye so I think that is why the doctor is recommending surgery. If treatment had begun when your child was 3 they might have started by "patching" the good eye (covering the good eye with a patch to force the weak eye to work harder and to force the brain to rely on the weak eye more.) At this stage though, the eyes are so developed that surgery probably is the best choice. This is not an entirely cosmetic procedure though -- yes, it is to help make the eyes look better -- but your child can lose the vision in the weak eye if this isn't fixed. I would highly recommend Dr. Michael Kipp at Weaton Eye Clinic (offices in Naperville and Wheaton). He is an expert in child eyes and Wheaton Eye has an excellent reputation. Good luck.

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