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Q&A: Baby's eyes wander?

My doctor said it's normal for a newborn's eyes to appear crossed at first, but it's been seven months and my baby's eyes still don't line up. Should I be worried?

Re: My doctor said it's normal for a newborn's eyes to appear crossed at first, but it's been seven months and my baby's eyes still don't line up. Should I be worried?

The Bump Expert

You're right -- it is normal for one or both of a newborn's eyes to sometimes appear to wander, especially when they are fatigued. But, as a baby ages, this phenomenon should stop. By six months old, your baby's eyes should line up and move together all the time. If they do not, this is called strabimus. If an eye deviates outward this is called exotropia, and if it deviates inward this is called esotropia. Eyes can also deviate upward or downward.

The misalignment is often caused by differing strengths in the muscles that control eye movement. Some children are born with this condition, while others develop strabismus when they are older.

Aside from the obvious cosmetic issues, the real concern about strabismus is the confusion it causes the brain, since each eye is taking in different visual input. If this confusion persists for long enough, your child's brain will start to ignore the information being received through one of the eyes, resulting in vision loss.

If you are concerned that your child might have strabismus you should discuss your suspicions with your pediatrician. There are a few tests that they can do in the office but most likely, they will refer your child to a pediatric ophthalmologist for a more thorough evaluation. Strabismus must be treated -- it will not resolve without intervention.

Dr. Leigh Serra

Q&A: Baby's eyes wander?

When my son was 6 months we started taking him to an opthalmologist. He was diagnsed with Intermittent Exotropia. The doctor kept saying he would grow out of it by the time he was four. When my son was in the third grade he still had it, his grades were slipping and kids would make fun of him. We finally had another opinion and was referred to a Ped. Optholmologist 31/2 hours away. When there, we were informed that kids will never grow out of it, and the only cure is Strabismous surgery. It is not a cheap procedure, but it is well worth it, his grades are up and no more mean comments from the other children. I just wish we would have done it sooner.

adamsonholly |

Q&A: Baby's eyes wander?

After my daughter outgrew the initial infant eye wandering, she was fine until she was about 9 months, and then we started noticing one of her eyes would cross every once in awhile. We were referred to an amazing pediatric ophthalmologist, who diagnosed her as being far-sighted within moments of her exam. This was something my husband and I never considered (neither of us have ever had glasses and she had never indicated having trouble with her vision). We immediately got her glasses and she's doing so well. The dr said it was great we caught it so early before it turned into something worse that would need an operation, so I urge you to see a pediatric ophthalmologist and figure out what's going on with your little one. We're still unclear as to if she will need glasses (and later contacts, etc.) for life, or if this is something she'll outgrow, but for now she's happy and thriving, so we're happy. We certainly were upset at the prospect of our baby in glasses at first but got over it quickly. She's adorable in them, sees so well and she only tries to take them off when tired. I hope this helps -- good luck!!

sgoodbod |

Q&A: Baby's eyes wander?

The doctor kept saying he would grow out of it by the time he was four. When my son was in the third grade he still had it, his grades were slipping and kids would make fun of him. We finally had another opinion and was referred to a Ped. Optholmologist 31/2 hours away. When there, we were informed that kids will never grow out of it, and the only cure is Strabismous surgery. If you are looking for APK for Android go to APKLate website.

jesmarrie |