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Robert P Rutstein, David A Corliss

The clinical course of intermittent exotropia

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Purpose: To report the clinical course for patients with intermittent exotropia.

Methods: The clinical records of patients diagnosed with intermittent exotropia from 1983 to 1991 who had at least 4 years of follow-up were reviewed. All patients with neurological or medical abnormalities, developmental delays, ocular disease, or having strabismus surgery during the follow-up period were excluded.


Results: Of the 468 records reviewed, 73 met the inclusion criteria. Forty-four patients were female, and 29 were male. Fifty-two patients had basic intermittent exotropia, 11 patients had divergence excess intermittent exotropia, and 10 patients had convergence insufficiency intermittent exotropia. The mean age at initial visit was 20 years (range, 1 to 63 years). The mean follow-up was 10 years (range, 4 to 23 years). Four patients had amblyopia of 20/30 or worse, nine patients had a vertical deviation in the primary position, and 10 patients had undergone extraocular muscle surgery before coming to our clinic. Sixty patients received some form of treatment during follow-up. The mean stereoacuity at the initial and final visits were 59 and 70 s arc, respectively. The initial mean spherical equivalent refraction was -0.48 D and increased to -1.15 D at the end of the study. The mean exodeviation changed from 17.2 Delta at distance and 17.6 Delta at near at the initial visit to 13.7 Delta at distance and 13.5 Delta at near at the final visit. At the initial visit, 63 patients were exotropic and 10 patients were either heterophoric or orthophoric at distance, whereas, 60 patients were exotropic and 13 patients were either heterophoric or orthophoric at near. At the final visit, 37 patients were exotropic and 36 patients were either heterophoric or orthophoric at distance whereas 33 patients were exotropic and 39 were either heterophoric or orthophoric at near. One patient was esotropic at near at the last visit. Changes in the size and quality of the exodeviation, although statistically significant (p < 0.001), were not associated with any specific treatment regimen or with longer periods of follow-up. Measurements exhibited a regression toward the mean.

Conclusions: Intermittent exotropia improved for many patients quantitatively and qualitatively over time. That the improvement was unrelated to any treatment and length of follow-up suggests that the changes at least quantitatively are not associated with any physiologic process and may be due, in part, to regression toward the mean.


Vision therapy is well worth the response, time and effort. Our Son had a hard time focusing and writing neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time if previously took. His abilities to focus improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent, we wanted learning to be fun for our Son, and vision therapy made this possible.

Amanda T.

Vision Therapy is well worth the expense, time and effort. Our son had a hard time focusing handwriting neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time it previously took his abilities to focus and improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent you wanted learning to be fun for our son and vision therapy made this possible.

Alexa H.

Vision Therapy has given or son the tools he needs to be able to scan and read the written word more effectively and efficiently.

He love working with John and these working sessions give him the motivation to gladly work on his homework assignments.

It amazed us to see the difference in the tracking of his eyes and along a line of it's from the beginning to the end of the treatment.

Dr. McBryar , Kristen and John  are all marvelous and we would recommend them to anyone I only wish that we would have found them sooner!

Charlotte M.

Prior to coming to the institute for vision development my son complained of daily headaches. Therapy has eliminated his headaches completely. I love knowing my son is able to learn pain-free for the rest of his life because of the work that has been done over just a few weeks in this office. He he absolutely loved coming that didn't even feel like going to a doctor or therapy. We are grateful for the relief he was able to find by coming here.

Thank you!

Olivia C.

Seems much less frustrated with life

Reads non-stop and fast

Spelling abilities have been hugely improved

Seems much more confident

Thank You!!!

Kelly O.

When we first came to the practice, my son did not have huge issues, but lots of small ones- trouble with reading, sports (hitting the baseball consistently), coordination, etc- that were not easily detectable,but when put together presented issues. The staff here were all very professional and loving towards him. While I was concerned in the reading, my son was concerned with the athletic side. Seeing improvement night off the bat gave him confidence that i have nor seen in him and made him want to not only Come to therapy, but also made him want to work hard. He has surpassed his grade level and above in reading and hit his first home run this year! Thank you!!!

Alice M.
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