I believe the type of crossed eyes my brother had is called congenital Esotropia. Congenital means from birth. Most infants are born with eyes that aren't aligned at birth. Only 23% of infants are born with straight eyes. Within three months the eyes gradually come into more consistent alignment.
True congenital esotropia is an inward turn of a large amount of the eye, and is present in very few children, but the infant will not outgrow it. True infantile esotropia usually appears between the ages of 2 and 4 months.
The baby with infantile estropia usually cross fixates, which means that he or she uses either eye to look in the opposite direction. The right eye is used to look toward the left side , and the left eye is used to look toward the right side.
Some children who develop this type of crossed eyes, also have atypical gross motor development patterns. They typically skip the crawling stage with bilateral movements, and go right from crawling to standing. In most circumstances, surgery will be required.
There are other types of Estropia, which will not require surgery if therapy will work. Esotropia with amblyopia (lazy eye) is one of these. Accommodative esoptropia is one that occurs around 2 years of age. This type is caused when looking at things up close and usually can be taken care of with glasses.
This disease can be caused by problems with the eye muscles, the nerves that transmit information to the muscles, or the control center in the brain that directs eye movements. It can also develop due to other general health conditions or eye injuries.
There can be a family history of crossed eyes. Refractive error - people who have a significant amount of uncorrected farsightedness (hyperopia) may develop a problem because of the additional amount of eye focusing required to keep objects clear. Also, medical conditions such as Down syndrome and cerebral palsy, or someone who has suffered a stroke or head injury are at a higher risk of developing strabismus.
More information can be found on these subjects on Google at the American Optometric Association and the article by Dr. Jeffery Cooper, Rachel Cooper and Dr. Leonard Press, FCOVD, FAAO at the Optometrists Network.
My brother was fortunate because he had the surgery and is able to see.
Have a happy Sunday and see you next week.