American Family Vision Clinic Logo

The Clinical Course of Intermittent Exotropia

publication date
see more



To report the clinical course for patients with intermittent exotropia.



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.



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 Δ at distance and 17.6 Δ at near at the initial visit to 13.7 Δ at distance and 13.5 Δ 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.



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.


Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.

Anna P.

I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.

June S.

Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.

Christine R.

Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.

Lars Wulff

Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.

Justin E.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.

Amy Fagerness
1 2 3



Discover effective treatment options for diabetic retinopathy; consult our eye care professionals to protect your vision and overall well-being

Treating diabetic retinopathy Treating diabetic retinopathy is a critical aspect of preserving vision and maintaining the overall quality of life […]

Read More
Carrots for eyes

Are Carrots Good for Your Eyes?

As an optometrist at American Family Vision Clinic in Olympia, one of the most common questions Dr. Levi Zurcher often […]

Read More

Understanding Foggy vision

Is foggy vision troubling you? Let our experienced optometrist restore your sight – book an appointment today and see the […]

Read More
see all blogs

Contact Us To Amplify Your EyeCare

Working Hours

Monday - Thursday
8:00 am - 5:15pm
400 Yauger Way SW. Bldg 1, Ste A Olympia, WA 98502
Website Accessibility Policy
Safety protocols page
phone-handsetarrow-uparrow-right linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram