Strabismus means Cross-Eyed

We got one, crossed-eyed slacker that is. Sometimes we wonder where Kheilly’s eyes are focused on.

Crossed-eyed Kheilly.

Macy has a bit of it too.

Fancy name for a simple thing, huh? Got this from (emphasis mine):

Strabismus (Cross-Eyed)

“Strabismus is a term used to describe the abnormal positioning or direction of the eyeball. Normally, the eyeball is held in place and moves from side to side and top to bottom under the influence of small muscles which attach directly to the eyeball. Occasionally one muscle may be longer or stronger than the muscle located on the opposite side. This causes the eyeball to veer off in an abnormal direction…”

“Strabismus can also occur as a result of injury to some of the nerves going to the eye muscles. In addition, it may be seen if the cat or dog has a disease of the vestibular system.”

“The vestibular system is part of the ear and is what helps the cat (and us) keep our balance. If the vestibular system is not functioning normally, the cat may feel as though he is spinning, and his eyes will move abnormally to try to adjust to that.”

“If it is an inherited condition, no treatment is recommended as the abnormality is generally a cosmetic problem which does not affect the quality of life. If it is inherited, the breeding of affected individuals is not recommended.

“For animals with injury to or disease of the nerves or the vestibular system, the underlying cause needs to be found and treated. Sometimes anti-inflammatory medications are helpful.”

This is why we’re so eager to get Buddy snipped. And this also why we don’t support breeding for specific traits.


6 responses to “Strabismus means Cross-Eyed

  1. Wow! I never thought about this but I guess it makes sense that all mammals might share some level of occurrence of strabismus.

    Perhaps you can help me write a twist on my book and we can refer to it as a “resource for parents of pets with strabismus” 🙂

    Hope all is well. Take care.

    – Johnny Vargas
    (author of “Our Journey with Strabismus” a resource for parents of children with strabismus)

  2. Actually Strabismus doesn’t mean “cross-eyed” it actually is defined as the following:

    What is Strabismus?
    Strabismus or tropia are the medical terms for eye conditions commonly called by various names: eye turns, crossed eyes, cross-eyed, wall-eyes, wandering eyes, deviating eye, etc. Strabismus is not the same condition as “lazy eye” (amblyopia).

    A strabismus is defined as a condition in which the eyes deviate (turn) when looking at the object of regard.

  3. Also:
    “Cross-eyed means that when a person with strabismus looks at an object, one eye fixates the object and the other fixates with a convergence angle less than zero, that is the optic axes overconverge.”

    “Wall-eyed means that when a person with strabismus looks at an object, one eye fixates the object and the other fixates with a convergence angle greater than zero, that is the optic axes diverge from parallel.”

    “The deviant eye may be directed inward toward the other eye (cross-eye, or esotropia), outward, away from the other eye (exotropia), upward (hypertropia), or downward (hypotropia). The deviation is called “concomitant” if it remains constant in all directions of gaze and “incomitant” if the degree of misalignment varies with the direction of gaze.”

    “Strabismus may be present in only one eye, or it can occur in both eyes. When both eyes are involved and the eyes are turned to the outside, the strabismus is called divergent. When the eyes are both turned towards the nose and are cross-eyed, the strabismus is called convergent. The eyes may also be deviated downward or upward.”

  4. One more thing I forgot to mention.
    It is true:
    You may often find that Strabismus is commonly defined as “cross-eyed” and, yes, it is a layman’s term of sorts;
    however, it is only referred to as “cross-eyed” because it is the easiest and most visual word that defines the condition. Basically it is the less technical term used to keep people from the confusion of large medical terms like esotropia and exotropia. : )

  5. Rachel,
    Thanks for the detailed explanation. Cross-eyed is really the de facto, not to mention easiest, layman’s term that comes to mind.

  6. Strabismus and Tropia are medical terms for a vision condition that is called by various different names. Other names include cross eyed, crossed eye, cockeye, weak eye, wall eyed, wandering eyes, deviating eye, squint, hererotropia and others.Strabismus is a vision condition where one’s eyes are not able to properly align under normal conditions.One eye is misaligned in relation to the other when focusing on an object. Both eyes are not able to focus in the same direction, at the same point, at the same time. When a person’s eyes appear to be turned in (toward the nose), they are commonly called cross-eyed. This is more formally termed Esotropic Strabismus. When the eyes appear to be turned outward (away from the nose), the person is commonly called wall eyed.