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Eyes Look Crossed (Pseudostrabismus)

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KEY POINTS

  • Pseudostrabismus is when your baby's eyes look as if they are pointing in different directions even though they are straight.
  • No treatment is needed for pseudostrabismus. As your child gets older the eyes will appear straighter.

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What is pseudostrabismus?

Pseudostrabismus is when your baby's eyes look as if they are pointing in different directions even though they are straight. This is not the same as strabismus. Strabismus is a condition in which your child's eyes actually point in different directions because of a problem with the muscles around the eyes.

What is the cause?

Babies often have a wide, flat nose bridge that can make their eyes look crossed. Also, babies can have folds in the skin of their eyelids near their nose, making their eyes look crossed. Your baby’s eyes may look more crossed when your baby looks to one side.

How is it diagnosed?

For the first 2 to 3 months of life, it is normal for your baby’s eyes to not always point in the same direction. After this age, if your baby looks as if the eyes are crossed, your baby should be checked by an eye care provider. Your eye care provider will ask about your baby's symptoms, medical history, and activities, and examine your baby's eyes. Your provider may cover one of your baby's eyes and then the other to test your baby’s vision and ability to follow objects with each eye. Your eye care provider will then tell you whether your child has pseudostrabismus or true strabismus

How is it treated?

No treatment is needed for pseudostrabismus. It does not affect your child’s vision. As your child gets older the eyes will appear straight.

If your child has strabismus, your child needs to be treated as soon as possible to allow normal vision to develop. Treatment that starts after the age of 7 years may improve your child's appearance but does not always help vision problems.

What can be done to help prevent pseudostrabismus?

Pseudostrabismus cannot be prevented.

Reviewed for medical accuracy by faculty at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins. Web site: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/wilmer/
Developed by Change Healthcare.
Pediatric Advisor 2019.4 published by Change Healthcare.
Last modified: 2019-07-18
Last reviewed: 2019-07-17
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
© 2018 Change Healthcare LLC and/or one of its subsidiaries
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