This is when the eyes turn outwards from each other … and is sometimes described as “wall eyed” (the opposite of cross eyed).  This alignment problem can occur for many reasons. Some people have a pre-existing exophoria (a tendency for their eyes to turn outwards) since birth but have built up strong eye muscles to keep their eyes looking straight. Later in life, these muscles can weaken and the eyes can start to drift out and cause intermittent (or constant) diplopia (double vision).  Strokes or cranial nerve palsies can also cause an exotropia.  Alignment problems like this need to be evaluated by an eye doctor, especially if sudden onset.  Treatment is first geared toward finding any underlying cause. Double vision may be treated with prism glasses, eye exercises, or even strabismus surgery.

Dr. Timothy Root is a practicing ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon in Daytona Beach, Florida. His books, video lectures, and training resources can be found at:


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