Understanding Esotropia: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Esotropia is a type of strabismus, a condition characterised by the misalignment of the eyes. Also known as “crossed eyes” or “cross-eye syndrome,” esotropia specifically refers to the inward turning of one or both eyes. This visual disorder can manifest in various forms and may occur in both children and adults. In this blog post, we will explore the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for esotropia, shedding light on the importance of early detection and intervention.

Causes of Esotropia

  1. Muscle Imbalance: One of the primary causes of esotropia is an imbalance in the muscles controlling eye movement. If the muscles responsible for outward eye movement are weaker than those pulling the eyes inward, the result is the characteristic inward deviation.

  2. Refractive Errors: Refractive errors, such as farsightedness (hyperopia), can contribute to the development of esotropia. The eyes may turn inward as a compensatory mechanism to achieve better focus, especially when attempting to see objects up close.

  3. Neurological Factors: Certain neurological conditions, such as cerebral palsy or brain tumours, may affect the coordination of eye movements, leading to esotropia.

  4. Genetic Predisposition: Esotropia can run in families, suggesting a genetic component. Children with a family history of strabismus may be at a higher risk of developing esotropia.

Signs & Symptoms of Esotropia

  1. Crossed Eyes: The most apparent symptom of esotropia is the inward turning of one or both eyes, creating a crossed appearance. This misalignment may be constant or intermittent.

  2. Double Vision: Individuals with esotropia may experience double vision, where the brain receives conflicting signals from the misaligned eyes. The brain may suppress the image from one eye to alleviate this visual confusion.

  3. Squinting or Tilting Head: Children with esotropia may squint or tilt their heads to find a more comfortable and less double vision-inducing position.

  4. Eye Fatigue and Headaches: Straining to align the eyes can lead to eye fatigue and frequent headaches, especially during activities that require prolonged visual focus.


Treatment Options

  1. Glasses or Contact Lenses: Correcting refractive errors with prescription glasses or contact lenses can help manage esotropia caused by farsightedness.

  1. Eye exercises: This involves exercises designed to improve eye coordination and muscle strength. This non-invasive approach is particularly effective in treating certain types of strabismus.

  2. Eye Patching: Patching the dominant eye may be prescribed to strengthen the weaker (amblyopic) eye in terms of visual function.

  1. Surgery: Surgical intervention may be recommended to correct the alignment of the eyes by adjusting the eye muscles. This option is typically considered when other treatments prove ineffective, but is sometimes the best or only treatment option for some forms of esotropia.


Esotropia is usually a treatable condition, and early intervention is crucial for the best outcomes. Regular eye exams, especially for children, can aid in the early detection of esotropia and allow for timely intervention. If you are experiencing symptoms of esotropia, it’s essential to seek professional guidance. At Clarity Eye Surgeons, we specialise in personalised and advanced treatments to address a wide range of eye conditions including strabismus.

Reference: http://www.squintclinic.com/videos/type_of_squint/convergent_squint/

Author Bio

Dr Parth Shah at Clarity Eye Surgeons is here to assess your condition and tailor a treatment plan that suits your unique needs. Whether it is glasses, eye exercises, or surgical intervention, we are committed to providing the highest quality care to enhance your eye health.

Don’t let an eye misalignment like esotropia affect your quality of life. Contact us now to take the first step towards improved eye alignment.

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