Children who have a vision problem known as strabismus are unable to focus both eyes on the same thing at the same time. Instead, one eye may look in one direction, while the other eye looks elsewhere.
Strabismus happens when the eye muscles - which normally work together to move the eyes in the same direction - do not work correctly. As a result, the eyes look in different directions, and the brain struggles to understand what the eyes are seeing.
When babies are born, their eyes may not be aligned right away. It may take four to six months for their eyes to work together. But after that time, the eyes should align. Contact your child's personal primary care physician if you think his/her eyes are not straight and working in tandem by the age of 4-6 months.
Children who have strabismus may have symptoms all of the time or just sometimes, particularly when they are tired. A child with strabismus may:
If you notice any of these symptoms, talk to your pediatrician, who may then refer you to a Mercy Kids ophthalmologist. Unless strabismus is treated early on, it can lead to permanent vision problems:
In addition, strabismus can affect a child’s appearance and self-esteem.
Our pediatric ophthalmologists treat many children with strabismus.
We offer several treatments to successfully strengthen their eye muscles, realign their eyes and correct their vision.
Your child’s treatment will depend on how serious the strabismus is. The most common treatments include:
Any time you have concerns about your child’s vision, talk to your pediatrician. Our goal is to ensure your child can clearly see the world and all its possibilities.
At Mercy Kids, we care for children from birth through adolescence, through anything childhood brings. Learn more about our children's care services.