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Rocky Mountain Eye Center -  - Ophthalmology

Rocky Mountain Eye Center

Ophthalmology & Optometry located in Missoula, Hamilton, Butte & Helena, MT

Strabismus describes misalignment of the eyes, including eyes that drift outward or inward. Strabismus can affect infants, children, and adults. Expert care for strabismus is available at Rocky Mountain Eye Center in Missoula, Hamilton, Butte, and Helena, Montana. Appropriate treatment can correct strabismus and restore visual acuity. Schedule an appointment today for you or your child by calling the office of your choice or booking your visit online.

Strabismus Q & A

What is Strabismus?

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Normally, both of your eyes look in the same direction at the same object at the same time. With strabismus, one eye looks at the object you’re viewing, while the other points in a different direction. This can create double or blurry vision and may cause problems with learning and development in children.   

Strabismus is further classified according to the direction the affected eye turns, and may be categorized as:

  • Esotropia, inward turning
  • Exotropia, outward turning
  • Hypertropia, upward turning
  • Hypotropia, downward turning


Strabismus may be constant, occur intermittently, always affect the same eye, or alternate between the right and left eyes.

What Causes Strabismus?

A wide variety of underlying issues can cause strabismus. It may be linked to problems with the eye muscles or the nerves that send information to those muscles. Sometimes the control center in the brain that directs eye movements is at fault. Uncorrected visual acuity issues, stroke, or a head injury also increases your risk of developing strabismus.

Accommodative esotropia, for instance, is often due to uncorrected farsightedness. Individuals with accommodative esotropia may have problems with double vision, and they may close or cover one eye when doing close work or may tilt their head to better focus on an object.

What is the Treatment for Strabismus?

Your strabismus treatment at Rocky Mountain Eye Center starts with a comprehensive eye exam that includes:

  • Careful review of your medical history and current symptoms
  • Visual acuity testing
  • Refraction, which identifies the lens power necessary for correcting farsightedness and other refractive errors
  • Alignment and focus testing
  • Evaluation of your overall eye health


For young children, the pediatric ophthalmologist and strabismus specialist at Rocky Mountain Eye Center, Todd Murdock, MD, uses kid-friendly testing methods to accommodate your child’s level of understanding.

Once the pertinent details are identified regarding the strabismus, treatment may include:

  • Eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • Prism lenses to alter the level of light entering the eye and reduce the amount of eye turning necessary to view objects
  • Vision therapy/exercises to improve eye coordination and focus while reinforcing the eye-brain connection


If more conservative measures aren’t adequate, strabismus treatment may also include:

  • Botox® injections to relax affected muscles and reposition the eye
  • Surgery to change the length or position of muscles around the eye


Call Rocky Mountain Eye Center to schedule a strabismus evaluation today or book your visit online.