Areas of Expertise

Strabismus & Adult Motility

What is Strabismus & Adult Motility?

We are specialists in adult eye misalignments and motility disorders.

Our team works with adult patients and referring physicians to diagnose, treat and manage patients with strabismus and motility disorders. While many patients have had strabismus all of their lives, it can often be treated successfully and eliminate double vision and expand the field of vision.

What Causes Strabismus and Adult Motility ?

Genetic history, undetected or uncorrected farsightedness and other medical conditions like Down Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy can sometimes cause Strabismus & Adult Motility.

  • Strabismus most commonly occurs in children. Their eyes are misaligned and point in different directions, causing what is more commonly known as cross eyes or lazy eye. Infantile esotropia, where the eye turns inward, occurs most commonly in infants. The most common type of strabismus is Accommodative esotropia which usually occurs in children 2 years or older. Another common type of strabismus, exotropia, occurs when the eye turns outward and focuses on distant objects. This can be detected when a child is tired or seen squinting in sunlight.

  • Ocular motility issues can also occur in adults and is similar to cross eyes or lazy eyes. This condition can occur due to a muscle imbalance, a neurologic condition, diabetes, or even just poor vision in one eye. As an adult, a crossed or laze eye can be a psychological burden on people, and many adult patients will admit to being self-conscious about their appearance. Surgery can be performed to straighten the eye for an overall improved cosmetic appearance, although any accompanying reduced vision will most likely not be improved.

What are the symptoms?

Strabismus and Motility are both generic conditions that can be diagnosed or monitored during a routine eye exam. Symptoms for Strabismus include:

  • Appearing Cross-eyed
  • Lazy Eye
  • Squinting
  • Trouble focusing on objects that are far away
  • Trouble reading
  • Difficulty focusing in sunlight


Cross eyes can often occur in children by the time they’re three years old. While parents often think the condition will go away as the skin around the eye grows, that’s not always true. An optometrist should examine any child who’s eyes do not look straight, appear crossed or appear to look lazy.


An optometrist can diagnose strabismus and motility in children or adults.

Strabismus and motility can both be diagnosed during a routine eye exam. While the testing procedures depend on age and patient history, the use of a visual acuity test, refraction and focus testing help an Optometrist determine a course for treatment. Numbing drops can be used for non-verbal patients or small children to alleviate any reason for discomfort and allow for a more accurate diagnosis.

Treatment Options

We know that any family member can be affected by strabismus, and recognize that challenges like these are often hereditary and sometimes unavoidable. From eye glasses to surgery, we’ll work with you and your referring optometrist to customize a plan that works best for everyone in your family.

  • Strabismus Surgery

    Sometimes strabismus can be treated in children and adult with glasses, prisms, patching or botulinum toxin injections. When these treatments don’t work, reconstructive eye muscle surgery is often recommended. Post-surgery, patients can experience improved depth perception or binocular vision, improved visual fields and decreased double vision. During outpatient surgery, the eye muscles are moved to a different position to improve alignment.

  • Esotropia and Exotropia Surgery

    Both esotropia and exotropia are not uncommon. Misalignment of the eyes can cause doubled vision, and in children, is a common reason for difficulty with schoolwork. Recommended treatments prior to surgery include vision therapy, patching or eyeglasses, but in some cases, surgery may be the best initial treatment.

Learn more about our practices that provide these treatment options:

  • Omni Eye

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