Intermittent Exotropia

This is a strabismic disorder when one eye, or both eyes, turn outward (exotropia) intermittently. It is first seen infrequently when the child is sick or tired and only when he is looking into the distance. For this reason, it may not be seen in a pediatrician’s office, when the child is examined only up close and is well rested, in its early stages. It generally progresses in frequency and duration. As the condition progresses, the misalignment occurs earlier in the day and the deviating eye will stay out for longer periods of time. Often, the child closes one eye to eliminate the double vision that it may cause. This is especially noticeable in sunlight. As the disorder progresses, the eyes will also start to turn out when looking at close objects as well, i.e. reading. If not treated, the eye may turn out constantly and binocular vision (depth perception) could be lost. Amblyopia can occur in intermittent exotropia, but is uncommon. Treatment is usually required when the deviation is noted to be progressing. Various treatments may be offered depending on the frequency and size of the deviation as well as the age of the child.

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