Crossed Eyes: What Is It? What Caused it? And How To Fix It [2023 Guide]

by Florian Wüest • Updated 17 Jan, 2023
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Up to 4% of US citizens suffer from crossed eyes. Some of them have developed the condition over their lifetime. Other people are born pre-maturely – and got it at birth. [1]

So did I.

infant with crossed eyes

Since birth my eyes were crossed. And like so many other people either born with crossed eyes - I tried everything to fix it.

In this article you'll learn everything you need to know about crossed eyes: What it is - what caused it - and how to treat it.

Let's dive right in:

1.Strabismus/ Crossed Eyes 101: The Basics

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Albert Einstein most famously said:
“If you can't explain it to a six-year-old, you don't understand it yourself."

Every problem can be solved only if it's properly understood. So in this chapter, we'll clear some basics about strabismus/ crossed eyes:

1.1 What does being crossed eyed mean?

The medical word for cross eyes is strabismus.

A person with strabismus has misaligned eyes. Meaning: Both eyes are not pointing in the same direction (either due to muscular issues, or brain issues - or both in summation). [2]

In this article, I'll be using 'strabismus' and 'crossed eyes' simultaneously.

1.2 What causes adult strabismus (crossed eyes)?

Again, a person with crossed eyes has strabismus. A lazy eye (or crossed eyes, or strabismus) tends to develop at birth (the child is born too early - as in my case)...

... or it is developed later in life.

The most common cause of a lazy eye is the child being born too early [3] - and due to that, the brain has not learned to use both eyes together properly.

The same mechanism is likely to be at work as an adult. A slight eye deviation happens, which makes the central nervous system unable to process the two images of both eyes...

... leading to a negative spiral until ultimately, one eye is completely dominant.

1.3 What are symptoms of being cross eyed?

There are many symptoms to having crossed eyes:

So, one eye looks in one direction - the one eye looks in another.

To people with strabismus, this is socially unpleasant, and makes normal things such a finding a partner more difficult for the patient. As humans have evolved to favor symmetry in their significant others. [4]

This is why the number one reason for surgery in adult strabismus is psychosocial (in plain English, this means for social reasons/ interacting with others). [5]

    1.4 Does being cross eyed affect depth perception?

    Yes. Another common symptom of crossed eyes is poor depth perception: Which makes it impossible to watch 3d movies. Or makes every day tasks that depend on depth perception, such as parking, more difficult.

    This does not mean that people with poor depth perception see the world in 2d. They see it in 3d as well!

    Just the visceral sensation of 3d (where the eyes focus and then things 'pop out') is not as clear.

    1.5 Is double vision the most common symptom of being cross eyed?

    Double vision (diplopia) is a common symptom of strabismus, which is a condition characterized by crossed eyes or misaligned eyes. However, it is not necessarily the most common symptom of strabismus.

    Additionally, double vision can be caused by other conditions, such as neurological disorders or problems with the eye muscles or nerves. Therefore, it is important to consult an eye doctor if you are experiencing double vision or other vision problems. In a complete eye examination, your eye doctor can help you further.

    2. How To Fix Crossed Eyes

    how to fix crossed eyes title image

    Fortunately, there are several ways to treat crossed eyes, including corrective glasses or contact lenses, eye muscle exercises, and surgery.

    The most appropriate treatment will depend on the specific cause and severity of the condition, as well as the age of the patient.

    In this section, we will explore the different options for treating crossed eyes and the potential benefits and risks associated with each method. So if you are to seek treatment, you can make an educated decision going forward:

    2.1 Can you fix cross eye?

    In short: Yes. Strabismus is a completely treatable condition. [7]

    The earlier it gets diagnosed and treated, the better. Yet even adult strabismus, with the right surgeon, have reported wonderful success rates. [8]

    2.2 What are the best ways to permantly fix cross eyes?

    The only way to fix eye misalignment - is where it originated. We have to train – or force via operative means - both our eyes in the same direction.

    Squint (strabismus) can be treated or strongly improved without a surgical procedure. Yet surgery is the most common procedure recommended for strabismus.

    However even though it's high recommended by doctors, only 1 out of 20 people that suffer from strabismus opt for surgery. But why? [11]

    2.3 Eye muscles surgery: How much does it cost to get crossed eyes fixed?

    I've had eye muscle surgery in 2019:

    Although the eye muscle surgery was done incredibly well by the surgeon, the end results were quite disappointing: The eyes slipped back in their previous position 3-4 months later.

    Which seems to be quite common: Strabismus surgery has a re-operation rate of at least 10% per year. [12]

    So while eye muscles surgery is a wonderful way to fix crossed eyes for most people, I believe it should not be the first-line treatment. Not only is the process painful, it's also expensive: I've personally paid $4,400 for the surgery in Switzerland. According to a popular medical website, the normal prices of eye surgery are between $5,000 to $10,000.

    After my failed surgery, I went onto the search for other treatment options to improve my outward turning adult strabismus:

    2.4 Are there alternative treatment options to cross eyes?

    While eye surgery is a standard, and very effective way to treat strabismus - most patients (including me) were interested in alternatives.

    Because surgery is perceived to be risky, costly and quite painful. It's an effective treatment, but most people are looking for an easier treatment to start...

    ... before they ultimately hop for surgery.

    This is where our Lazyeyefix Ai software could come in handy. It's designed to help the 19 out of 20 people with strabismus that are not yet ready for surgery [13], yet still want to improve their condition.

    What is Lazyeyefix Ai?

    It's more fun than eye exercises at home, more quantifiable than the Brock String, and less risky, costly and painful than strabismus surgery. In short:

    And yeah, we have a free trial where you can basically try it with no risk.

    Feel free to click the link here to download your free trial for Windows:

    Or click here to download your free trial for Mac:


    [1] Born Too Soon - By WHO:

    [2] Strabismus by Cleveland Clinic:

    [3] Born Too Soon - By WHO:

    [4] Facial attractiveness: evolutionary based research:

    [5] Adults with strabismus seek surgery for pyschosocial benefits:

    [6] The Amblyopia Treatment Studies: Implications for Clinical Practice:

    [7] American Optometric Association:

    [8] Adults with strabismus seek surgery for pyschosocial benefits:

    [9] Surgery is a routine procedure:

    [10] What Is Prism Correction In Eye Glasses?

    [11] Strabismus, Strabismus Surgery, and Reoperation Rate in the United States: Analysis from the IRIS Registry:

    [12] Strabismus, Strabismus Surgery, and Reoperation Rate in the United States: Analysis from the IRIS Registry:

    [13] Strabismus, Strabismus Surgery, and Reoperation Rate in the United States: Analysis from the IRIS Registry:

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