Purpose Age-related distance esotropia (ARDE) involves acquired esotropia at distance and phoria at near. However, distance-independent esotropia (DIE) exists esotropia both at distance and near. Thus, we examined the orbital magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings for DIE to assess differences in its characteristics. Methods This study was a retrospective case-control study. We evaluated the efficacy of the standard coronal MRI in patients with acquired esotropia and control patients with optic neuritis. Cases with strabismus in the control group were excluded. DIE was defined as having esotropia both at distance and near, and an angle of more than 10 prism diopters at near. The condition of the lateral rectus-superior rectus band, position of rectus muscles, and the volume ratio of the globe to the whole orbit (G/WO) were examined. Results The DIE group consisted of 12 eyes of 6 patients (77.3±7.7 years); ARDE group, 38 eyes of 19 patients (73.1±6.8 years); and control group, 34 eyes of 17 patients (70.9±4.3 years). The ratio of abnormality of the lateral rectus-superior rectus bands was higher in the DIE and ARDE groups than in the control group (p Conclusion In comparison with the ARDE and control groups, the DIE group presented with abnormalities of the lateral rectus-superior rectus band, malposition of the lateral rectus, and differences in the G/WO. The DIE group showed a more severe form of ARDE.