What is pseudostrabismus?
Pseudostrabismus is the term used when a baby’s eyes look like they are pointing in different directions even though they are not.
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 the eyes, making their eyes look crossed. The eyes may look more crossed when the baby looks to one side.
This is not the same as strabismus, in which the eyes actually do point in different directions.
How is it diagnosed?
If a baby’s eyes look misaligned constantly by the time they are 2 months old or misaligned part of the time by the age of 3 months, take your baby to an ophthalmologist (medical eye doctor).
The doctor will do several tests. He may hold a small light in front of the baby’s eyes to check if the reflection of this light is properly centered in each eye. In another test, the provider covers one of the child’s eyes and then the other to see if the eyes shift abnormally when focusing on a near or distant object.
How is it treated?
No treatment is needed for pseudostrabismus. The appearance of misaligned eyes often improves as a child gets older.
If your child has strabismus rather than pseudostrabismus, your child needs treatment. Untreated strabismus can cause poor vision. If treatment is delayed too long, the loss of vision is permanent.
Reviewed for medical accuracy by faculty at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins. Web site: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/wilmer/ Developed by RelayHealth. Published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2009-08-13
Last reviewed: 2010-10-27 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. References
Pediatric Advisor 2011.4 Index
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