How is strabismus diagnosed?

Anyone older than four months of age who appears to have strabismus should have a complete eye examination by a pediatric ophthalmologist, with extra time spent examining how the eyes focus and move. The exam may include the following:

  • Patient history (to determine the symptoms the patient is having, family history, general health problems, medications being used and any other possible causes of symptoms)
  • Visual acuity (reading letters from an eye chart, or examining young children’s visual behavior)
  • Refraction (checking the eyes with a series of corrective lenses to measure how they focus light). Children do not have to be old enough to give verbal feedback when checking for glasses.
  • Alignment and focus tests
  • Examination after dilation (widening) of the pupils to determine the health of internal eye structures

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/22/2019.


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