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What Is Accommodative Esotropia?

girl wearing eyeglasses to correct accommodative esotropia

Accommodative esotropia is a common vision problem in children. One eye turns inward towards the nose, giving the child a cross-eyed appearance. It can affect a child’s self-esteem and ability to perform in school and is alarming for parents. Fortunately, accommodative esotropia is one of the most easily treated pediatric eye conditions.

Who Is Affected by Accommodative Esotropia?

Accommodative esotropia can affect children from infancy to late childhood. However, it typically starts between two and four years old. About 1 in 50 children has this eye condition. Risk factors include:

  • Family history

  • Childhood illness, trauma, stroke or brain injury

  • Neurological conditions such as excess fluid in the brain

  • Premature birth

Most people with accommodative esotropia also have farsightedness, which is difficulty seeing things up close.

Accommodative Esotropia Symptoms

Accommodative esotropia occurs when your eyes fail to converge correctly, or move together, when you shift from focusing on things far away to things up close. The result is that the eyes become misaligned, and one or both eyes turn inward towards the nose. Signs of accommodative esotropia include:

  • Fatigue

  • Double vision

  • Reading difficulties

  • Poor performance at school

  • Inward turning of the eyes

  • Lack of depth perception

Children with accommodative esotropia may notice they can’t focus their eyes on the same place at the same time. They may only be able to see objects clearly with one eye closed. Most children will not verbalize that something is wrong.

Diagnosing Accommodative Esotropia

An optometrist can diagnose accommodative esotropia during a pediatric eye exam. The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends that a child have a comprehensive exam by three years of age and that all children should have exams annually.

Accommodative Esotropia Treatment

Depending on the severity, several treatment options are available for children with accommodative esotropia.

  • Prescription eyeglasses, often including bifocals or progressive lenses, are the most common and most effective treatment for children with accommodative esotropia. Eyeglasses have proven to be successful in correcting farsightedness and misalignment.

  • Vision therapy can retrain the eyes and brain to work together using exercises to improve eye function and strengthen the eye muscles.

  • In extreme cases, surgery may be needed to adjust the length of the eye muscles and correct the misalignment.

Visit A Children’s Eye Doctor in Edmonton

At Optometrists’ Clinic Inc., we diagnose and treat children’s vision issues, including accommodative esotropia, myopia and amblyopia. Our eye clinic also carries a wide range of fashionable children’s eyewear. To schedule a pediatric eye exam or a consultation with an optometrist at one of our clinics in Edmonton, Westlock and Leduc, contact us today.


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