Esotropia is a form of strabismus, or "squint," in which one or both eyes turns inward. The condition can be constantly present, or occur intermittently, and can give the affected individual a "cross-eyed" appearance. Esotropia is sometimes erroneously called "lazy eye," which describes the condition of amblyopia—a reduction in vision of one or both eyes that is not the result of any pathology of the eye and cannot be resolved by the use of corrective lenses. Amblyopia can, however, arise as a result of esotropia occurring in childhood: In order to relieve symptoms of diplopia or double vision, the child's brain will ignore or "suppress" the image from the esotropic eye, which when allowed to continue untreated will lead to the development of amblyopia. Treatment options for esotropia include glasses to correct refractive errors (see accommodative esotropia below), the use of prisms and/or orthoptic exercises and/or eye muscle surgery.
- Decreased vision
- Misaligned eyes
The symptoms described above may not necessarily mean that your child has esotropia. However, if you observe one or more of these symptoms, contact your child's eye doctor for a complete exam.
The prognosis for each esotrope will depend upon the origin and classification of their condition. However, in general, management will take the following course:
1. Identify and treat any underlying systemic condition.
2. Prescribe any glasses required and allow the patient time to 'settle into' them.
3. Use occlusion to treat any amblyopia present and encourage alternation.
4. Where appropriate, orthoptic exercises can be used to attempt to restore binocularity.
5. Where appropriate, prismatic correction can be used, either temporarily or permanently, to relieve symptoms of double vision.
6. In specific cases, and primarily in adult patients, botulinum toxin can be used either as a permanent therapeutic approach, or as a temporary measure to prevent contracture of muscles prior to surgery
7. Where necessary, extra-ocular muscle surgery can be undertaken to improve cosmesis and, on occasion, restore binocularity.