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Understanding Eye Alignment Problems

Is going cross eyed genetic? Can squint be corrected in adults? Can you develop a lazy eye? Is it normal for a baby to have cross eye?

The above questions are common, as eye alignment problems aren’t something well understood by most people. In this article, we’re going to provide an overview of the most common causes of eye alignment concerns.

Eye Alignment Problems

There is no sense in going into further detail about understanding eye alignment problems without actually knowing what they are. The medical terms amblyopia and strabismus refer to either a difference in visual acuity or eye alignment


Strabismus is a condition where both eyes do not look at the same place at the same time – more commonly known as cross-eyes. Note: crossing your eyes voluntarily is not the same thing.

Causes & Symptoms of Strabismus

Strabismus can be caused by genetics, injuries to the eye muscles, nerve damage, and more. Many cases of strabismus are not caused by an eye muscle problem, but, are due to a problem with the brain.

The most common and significant symptom of strabismus is double vision, due to an eye turned in, out, up, or down, while the other remains straight. Other symptoms include reduced depth perception and reduced vision in one eye.


Known as lazy eye, amblyopia is a vision development disorder that results in one eye failing to achieve normal vision. Usually only one eye is affected, however, it is possible to affect both.

Causes & Symptoms of Amblyopia

Most commonly caused by strabismus, with amblyopia the brain ignores visual input from the misaligned eye, leading to permanent decreased vision within it. Common symptoms include misaligned eye(s) and blurred vision.

With that being said, if you notice your child’s eyes are crossed or misaligned, schedule an appointment immediately with Dr. Mast for a proper diagnosis and examination of the eye.

Is Going Cross Eyed Genetic?

Genetics may play a role in the development of strabismus. For instance, if you or your partner has strabismus, your children will be at greater risk of developing it as well.

Is it Normal For a Baby to Have Crossed Eyes?

It is normal for newborn baby’s eyes to cross and wander every so often up until the age of 4 months. This is due to the brain developing to learn how to make the eyes work together.

With that being said, if your baby’s eyes are crossed all the time, especially after the age of 4 months, consult your Optometrist immediately. The condition may develop into strabismus or amblyopia.

Can Adults Develop a Lazy Eye?

It is absolutely possible for adults to develop a lazy eye. Although most people are familiar with children having lazy eyes, adults may develop one from vision loss, muscle weakness, or nerve damage.

Can Squints be Corrected in Adults?

Squints is another name for strabismus in adults. Although not found as common in adults as in kids, squints affects nearly four in every one hundred adults.1

Thankfully, the condition may be treated through either eye muscle exercises, glasses containing prisms, eye muscle surgery, or a combination of these methods.