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Childhood strabismus often has no known cause, although it tends to run in families.
Sometimes strabismus develops when the eyes compensate for other vision problems, such as farsightedness or a cataract. Other things that can increase your child's risk for strabismus include an illness that affects the muscles and nerves, premature birth, Down syndrome, a head injury, and other problems.
Adults may develop strabismus from eye or blood vessel damage. Loss of vision, an eye tumor or a brain tumor, Graves' disease, stroke, and various muscle and nerve disorders can also cause strabismus in adults.