Anyone have information on...

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kerina313's picture
Joined: 09/10/05
Posts: 60
Anyone have information on...

Congenital Esotropia?

Apparently, the Eye Dr. has decided that Sam's problem is this and is now thinking surgery sooner the better.

I'm doing some searching but not turning up much...

I think my ex had the surgery done as a child and he ended up with no depth perception. So I'm kind of nervous about having the procedure done.

But what I have read states that gross motor skills can be delayed because of this...

sometimes it seems to never end.


Joined: 05/05/04
Posts: 435

Based on a quick google it sounds like it's basically a new name for what was historically called lazy eye? (that's what strabismus is, right?). In that case I have a friend who's daughter had the surgery done in Elmira, NY, where there are apparently good ped eye docs (I'll try to refrain from expressing my surprised because I've never heard of anyone going to Elmira for anything :lol:). For a week or so they thought that her eye might have been overcorrected but it turns out that it wasn't and now her eyes align really well. I'll send her a note and see if I can get her to weigh in for you.

Joined: 06/28/10
Posts: 1

Hi, I'm Natalie's friend! I haven't posted here in a while but when Natalie told me about your post I wanted to respond. My daughter Madelyn has congenital nystagmus (involuntary eye movements) that eventually led to esotropia when she was 7 or 8 months old. Esotropia is basically the form of strabismus (misaligned eyes) where the eyes turn in, as opposed to exotropia where the eyes turn out. If left untreated, the strabismus can eventually lead to amblyopia, where the brain stops using the weaker eye (this is what is commonly known as "lazy eye"). Once amblyopia happens it is much more difficult to correct, so that's why it's so important to treat the strabismus as early as possible. Also, when the eyes are misaligned, the child won't be able to develop 3D vision or depth perception, so it's important to correct it while the eyes are still developing. So, it's not the surgery that leads to the lack of depth perception, it's the strabismus. Even if corrected there's no guarantee that they'll ever get 3D vision, but at least there's a better chance.

In our case, Madelyn was officially diagnosed with the strabismus when she was 9 months old, and at that point she started wearing an eye patch for 2 hours a day (this forces the brain to use the weaker eye so it continues to develop, thus helping prevent amblyopia). When she was 12 months old she also started wearing glasses. She is far-sighted, and sometimes the glasses can correct the strabismus without surgery. The glasses did make a big difference, but her pediatric ophthalmologist said that she was still turning her eyes in sometimes, so she would need to have surgery. Her PO likes to do the surgery before age 2, and Madelyn had hers when she was 18 months old (in February). Her surgery was done by cutting one muscle in each eye and reattaching it, and the actual procedure took about half an hour. By that afternoon she was back home playing with her toys, and by the next day she acted like nothing ever happened to her. I have to say that the anticipation of the surgery was far worse than actually going through it, and I was really amazed at how quickly Madelyn bounced back from it. Like Natalie said, Madelyn's PO overcorrected her (to compensate for her turning her eyes in due to the nystagmus), so at first her eyes weren't always lined up quite right, but now she looks great. I'm amazed when I look back at old pictures because there is such a huge difference. And even the same day of the surgery we started noticing differences in her behavior, she seem more interested in looking at things and seemed to get better eye-hand coordination.

If you would like more info or want to chat please don't hesitate to PM me. Here are some sites that you might find helpful: (it's mostly about kids with glasses but there's stuff about strabismus/surgeries too. They also have a Facebook group with a lot of activity

Joined: 05/05/04
Posts: 435

thanks, Danita!! Smile

kerina313's picture
Joined: 09/10/05
Posts: 60

Thanks so much for the information. It helps to know someone who's been through this. The only difference is that Sam has ACC and I don't know if that will complicate things down the road or not.

As far as the surgery.. I'm a "pro" at it... My eldest has had 2 open heart surgeries and multiple cath ones. So, the surgery part as much as I don't like it.. can handle it Smile

sarahsunshine's picture
Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1462

Sorry to hear that Sam is having some eye issues. My mom (Gardenbug) has a lazy eye, and only sees out of her one “good” eye – but she is one of the greatest ladies around! The biggest thing it seems to affect is that she never wants to be in photos… but then nobody I know really does, except for DSS!

Hope it doesn’t end up being anything serious.

And can you give us an update on everyone else? How are Em and Will doing? And yourself?

gardenbug's picture
Joined: 03/12/07
Posts: 2025

Hi. My sister wore an 'ecluder' to have her lazy eye corrected. Blocking her good eye worked to strengthen the other eye, but socially it upset her.
My eye was deemed not too serious, so nothing was ever done about it. Sarah is right, it bothers me only for reasons of vanity. I also may have a bit of a problem with distance perception, as in playing ping-pong, but I'm not much interested in sports so that part is OK.

Both my parents had this problem and it accentuated as they aged. My mother eventually decided to have one of her eyes operated on to tighten the muscles and improve her appearance. She tended to tilt her head a bit when she looked at you. We think this was something that developed over time as she tried hard to focus with her good eye. She was in her late 60s or early 70s when the operation was done. She never believed in un-necessary surgery, and so that indicates just how much this disturbed her. The surgeons warned her that she would think they made an error when she recovered. In fact, they deliberately over-correct with their procedure because things tend to relax a bit after a few months. It worked well for her. My Dad had no desire to change "who he was".

I may decide some time to do this, maybe...;)

kerina313's picture
Joined: 09/10/05
Posts: 60

We'll we're scheduled for September 15th for the surgery. He's one of top pediatric eye surgeons in the area. We're lucky in that he's been keeping an eye on her since she was born and wanted to see if it would correct on it's own like Emily's did.

The only thing that gets me is that he doesn't answer questions via email. So far, he's the only doctor I've dealt with that doesn't. Not sure if that concerns me or

I just really hope it helps her. You can tell she's a little frustrated sometimes not being able to see everything so well. The good news is that the PT is definitely making a difference.. so I'm hoping this will too!