I have a 4 year old daughter who recently has developed the
habit of crossing her eyes. For instance sometime I will spoon
her ice cream into her mouth to eliminate a big mess and as the spoon
goes toward her face her eyes cross. I tell her to stop, but
she seem to be doing it more. Not only have I noticed it at that time
but at different times such as sometimes when she gets really
excited and is telling you something, she crosses her eyes.
I'm sure there are other times that I either don't notice or
maybe I'm not with her at the time. I have been watching her and
have noticed that now if she turns her eyes to look to the right
that it appears to me that her left eye goes in towards her nose more
than it should. Is it possible for a child who has never been cross-
eyed to develope it or do you think that it is just a habit for her.
She has never had an eye exam, out eye-doc suggested we wait a while,
but that was when she had just turned 3. At that Time I had my 2 older
daughters in for their checkup and just wanted to know when she should
have her 1st exam. This eye-crossing thing has just started in the last
6 months or so. Please advise. Thank You. Cathy
You are a very good observer to find that your daughter's eyes do not point straight all of the time.
There are several things which can cause this.
A common finding is "pseudo strabismus" where it seems like the eyes turn in but in fact they are actually straight. This appearance occurs in children with wide nasal bridges.
It is also possible that the eyes intermittantly cross. Normally, the eyes somewhat inward when we look at objects up close. Some children have an overactive near reflex which makes the eyes cross more than they should. If one of the eyes is weaker than the other eye "lazy eye", that eye can wonder in or out. Another possibility is the nerves which make the muscles around the eye move are not functioning properly.
It is very important that your daughter have a complete eye examination by your ophthalmologist. He or she will be able to look for all of these problems. If there is a lazy eye, the earlier it is treated, the better the outcome. By 4 years old, a fairly complete eye exam is possible in the office.
HFHS MD - NI
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