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Question:


How do I know if my baby has strabismus?

Deborah

Answer:

Dear Deborah ,

Normal newborns will sometimes have eyes that wander from time to time, especially when tired. This is not strabismus.

It is normal for a newborn's eyes to move independently and at times.

Newborns often have crossed eyes due to a lack of developed vision, but this disappears as the infant grows.

Studies of newborn babies have found that strabismus is not usually present at birth but develops within the first month of life, as vision develops.

Many parents are told that in the first three months of life, it is not unusual for a baby's eyes to wander.

This is partly true. It is not unusual for a baby's eyes to occasionally wander outward, but if one or both of a baby's eyes turn inward during this time period, especially if the eye is constantly turning in, the baby should have an eye exam.

If it wanders outward part of the time, it's probably okay to wait, but if it is always turning outward and never straight then the baby should have an eye exam.

If you notice one or both of your baby's eyes wandering or crossing either in or out after 3 months of age, your baby should have an eye exam.

Eye alignment is normally unsteady at birth but by 3 months of age the eyes should be straight.

Any infant who continues to show an eye misalignment after 3 months of age should have a complete eye exam.

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