What causes a pattern esotropia?


Having good eye vision can help us to see many wonders in this world. It also helps us to do many things in life with ease. It is best to get regular health screening to ensure that the eye is in good shape. Have you realised that our eyes are always fixated at certain positions? You may have seen some people with their eyes positioned a bit different than yours. This may be the case of esotropia. In this article, we will learn about esotropia, specifically pattern esotropia.

To understand what is pattern esotropia, it is best to know what strabismus is first.  That’s because pattern esotropia and strabismus are related. It is known as strabismus, and it’s a misalignment of eyes. Strabismus is thought to affect around 5% of the general population.  Infants and young children are most likely to develop strabismus. However, older children and adults may develop this condition. To understand how strabismus affects a person, knowing the basics of eye movement can be a great help.

The eyes have about 6 muscles attached to them. These muscles are superior rectus, inferior rectus, lateral rectus, medial rectus, superior oblique and inferior oblique. These muscles control the eye movement.  Before the muscles are able to move, they’re receiving signals from the brain.. In a normal setting, the eyes muscles work together to enable proper eye alignment. Thus, when there is a problem in the muscles controlling the eye movement, the eyes will look disproportionate to the normal eyes such as the eyes turning inwards or outwards. This is what happens in strabismus.

Esotropia is the one eye that deviates inwards, also known as crossed eyes. Pattern strabismus is defined as the difference in magnitude of horizontal deviation between up and downgaze. Hence, when we talk about pattern esotropia, it is a strabismus with the eyes deviated inwards with deviation of an alphabet pattern.

There are no clear reasons on why pattern esotropia occurs. However, it is said due to many issues within the eyes itself. Most common believed cause is the eye muscle abnormalities. The abnormality causes the dysfunction of the eye muscle function. Beside the eye muscle, this strabismus may be caused by the abnormal shape of the eyeball or the structures surrounding the eyeball.

It is worth noting that pattern strabismus is not only in the form of pattern esotropia, it may also be pattern exotropia. Exotropia is the outward eye turn that is away from the nose. This means that esotropia is the opposite of exotropia. Do you know that both exotropia and esotropia can be constant or intermittent? Constant refers to the eye that turns outwards or inwards at all times. Intermittent refers to the eye turn that is only present at certain times of the day such as when a person is tired or daydreaming, or even when in stressful situations. Intermittent may also be seen when the person is looking in a distance. Intermittent is the most common form.

Pattern esotropia, similar to other eye disorders, needs to get evaluated by an ophthalmologist. Beside ophthalmologists asking questions of patients’ medical history and family, they often will run many tests to find evidence of the eye condition. This includes vision test, slit-lamp exams, fundus examinations, ocular alignment test, extraocular muscle movement evaluation and cycloplegic refraction tests. These are only examples of the common tests. Do ask your healthcare provider for further information on tests done to check for exotropia.

Strabismus surgery is recommended if there is significant or head positioning that is abnormal. There are 2 common surgeries which are the oblique muscle surgery and horizontal recti surgery with vertical displacement of insertions.

In essence, pattern esotropia is a form of strabismus with the eyes that is deviated inwards in the shape of alphabet patterns. Strabismus in general referred to the misalignment of the eyes. Most cases of strabismus are caused by the problem with the eye muscles. Knowing which eye muscles are affected is important for healthcare professionals to understand why the strabismus occurs and to plan for the proper treatment. To diagnose pattern esotropia, eye examination is needed and this examination is more than what is done in a typical clinic. Thus, the patient suspected with pattern esotropia may be referred to an ophthalmologist for a better evaluation of the eyes.

You may wonder if there is any way to prevent strabismus from happening to you or a loved one. Unfortunately, it seems impossible to do so as most cases are not known why it occurs. However, what can be done is to prevent complications by detecting It early. Children should get screened for eye health before the first 6 months of life and another one when between the age 3 to 5 years old. For adults, you can always contact an eye care professional if you think you have eye vision issues especially after an injury or a possible stroke. It is important to get checked when you are unsure of any eye symptoms that occur.