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Eyes Look Crossed (Pseudostrabismus)

What is pseudostrabismus?

Pseudostrabismus is when your baby's eyes look like they are pointing in different directions even though they are not. 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 his 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 the inner eyelids that cover the inner white part of their eyes, making their eyes look crossed. Your baby’s eyes may look more crossed when he looks to one side.

How is it diagnosed?

At age 2 months if your baby looks like his eyes are crossed, he should be checked by an eye care provider. Your healthcare 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.

How is it treated?

No treatment is needed for pseudostrabismus. As your child gets older the eyes will no longer look like they point in different directions.

If your child has strabismus, he needs to be treated as soon as possible so that he can develop normal vision. Treatment that starts after the age of 6 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:
Developed by RelayHealth.
Pediatric Advisor 2015.3 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2013-12-05
Last reviewed: 2014-10-27
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.
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