What is Esotropia?

Esotropia is a type of eye misalignment characterized by the inward turning of one or both eyes. This deviation can be constant or intermittent and may occur with near fixation, distance fixation, or both. The inward turning may occur predominantly with one eye or may alternate between the eyes and can occur at any age.

What are the Different Types of Esotropia?

Esotropia can be defined based on age of onset (congenital/infantile vs. acquired), by frequency (intermittent vs. constant), by whether it can be treated with glasses (accommodative vs. non-accommodative), or by secondary causes (thyroid eye disease, stroke, hydrocephalus, etc.).

What Problems can Arise from Esotropia?

The effect that esotropia can have on vision depends on the age of presentation. Eye crossing impairs the ability of the eyes to function together. In addition to loss of vision in the crossed eye (amblyopia), young children experiencing esotropia can lose depth perception (3-D vision) and binocularity (simultaneous use of both eyes). In older children and adults, new-onset esotropia can lead to diplopia (double vision).

How is Esotropia Treated?

Treatment of esotropia focuses on re-establishing ocular alignment, maximizing binocular vision, reliving diplopia, and treating associated amblyopia. Treatment can include glasses, strabismus surgery (eye muscle surgery) and less often, botulinum toxin (Botox).