Intermittent exotropia in children may lead to myopia after teen years

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Scientists from the Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation in the USA have studied 135 patients with intermittent exotropia, where the eye turns outwards while looking at an object, over a 20-year period.

Scientists from the Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation in the USA have studied 135 patients with intermittent exotropia, where the eye turns outwards while looking at an object, over a 20-year period. Slightly more than 90% of the children studied became near-sighted by the time they reached their twenties.

The researchers findings, published in The American Journal of Ophthalmology, include recommendations that children with intermittent exotropia should be closely followed by their ophthalmologist for two reasons – the misalignment of their eyes and the almost certain development of myopia by the time they finish their teens.

Dr Brian Mohney, Department of Ophthalmology, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation is reported as saying: “These findings further confirm the relationship of refractive error and strabismus; that esotropia is associated with hyperopia, which is more common among Western populations, while exotropia is linked with myopia, and more prevalent among Asians. It is unknown if these associations are genetic, environmental, or both and further investigations are warranted.”

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