Have you ever pulled a funny face and then worried it might stick that way forever? Well, what about your eyes crossing - can they get stuck like that too? It's a question that sounds silly at first glance, but many people have wondered about the answer. So let's dig in and see if this crossed-eyed conundrum really has any basis in reality.
What is Strabismus?
To understand whether or not your eyes can get stuck when they cross, we need to talk about strabismus. Strabismus is a medical condition where the eyes are misaligned and don't point in the same direction. This can happen for several reasons, such as problems with eye muscles or nerves controlling them.
Fun Fact: Strabismus affects around 4% of Americans!
When someone has strabismus, one eye may turn inward (known as esotropia) or outward (exotropia), while the other eye focuses normally on an object. The brain begins to ignore signals from one eye to avoid double vision caused by non-matching pictures.
Types of Strabismus
Not all types of strabismus involve both eyes turning towards each other like when people require glasses with prism correction lens prescriptions. But some forms make crossed-eye appearances more apparent. Here are different types:
- Esotropia: Inward Turn
- Exotropia: Outward Turn
- Hypertrophy: Vertical Misalignment
- Skew deviation: Asymmetric horizontal misalignment
Can Crossed Eyes "Get Stuck"?
Now back to our main query! When you cross your arms across your chest will they stay like that forever because it feels so comfortable? The quick answer -- no! The same principle applies to crossed eyes; casually crossing OUR OWN eyes can't lead to them getting stuck in that position forever.
The eye movement is controlled by six muscles that are linked to the back of each eyeball. These muscles work together and allow your eyes to move up, down and left or right. They're incredibly strong little muscles, but they're also flexible enough to enable us to refocus from near objects towards far away ones quickly.
Fun Fact: The human eye has over 2 million working parts - no wonder they stay so active!
Your optical system holds an alert feedback loop: when they drive further than good alignment distance, a signal will be delivered for the straightening of one of our eyes (called fusional reflex). Our brain knows how our conjoined visual image 'should' look like- thus a command transits immediately into corrective actions.
So Why Do Some People Have Crossed Eyes?
Since crossing your own eyes won't get them "stuck", how is it possible for some people's misaligned? According to Sophia Barnes-Cooke, Orthoptist and Clinical Lead at Optical Express:
“There are various reasons why somebody might develop strabismus; sometimes it’s hereditary where another family member has had the condition.”
Often an underlying genetic factor plays their part in this disorder- If we talk about the more severe type: congenital esotropia develops within newborns during their first few months outside mommy's womb! Heredity isn’t all; vision problems like farsightedness being corrected via glasses^1 don't just correct what maybe considered solely as moderate medical treatments but treat mistreatment too
How Is Strabismus Treated?
For most young children who have crossed eyes due to mild strabismus , eyeglasses will fix alignment issues with prescription correction lens prescriptions.^2 Eye surgeons may also carry out further cosmetic procedures on adults with SQUINTS in such conditions, operations may involve weakening or tightening muscles in the eyes through surgical repositioning. The correction of late-onset strabismus can be challenging, but prevention with twice-yearly comprehensive vision exams increases its success rate!
There's no need to worry about your eyes getting "stuck" when you cross them - it's not a realistic concern, even if they're already misaligned due to strabismus. With the appropriate treatment approach utilizing eyeglasses and surgery (if recommended by an ophthalmologist), people living with crossed-eyes conditions could lead lives as normal as their peers.
Though remember, we all have unique features that make us stand out from everyone else! So let this be our chance for celebration of diversity each person brings in—be proud!
Fun Fact: Forest Whitaker is famous for his lazy eye; he has stated numerous times how comfortable he feels having ‘it’ after years believing it was something unfortunate ^