If you haven't read my post on the basics of strabismus yet, please make your way over there first before reading this post. That post has useful background information, including definitions of the medical terms used below and a step-by-step guide to the eye exam.
Before we dive deep into the different types of strabismus that exist, I want to talk about a condition called "pseudostrabismus." This is seen very commonly in clinic.
What is it?
Strabismus is the medical term used to describe when the eyes are not straight. Pseudostrabismus refers to the appearance of the eyes crossing in, but the eyes are not actually crossing in. When the skin folds between the inner corners of the eyes and nose are very prominent or asymmetric, this can cause the illusion of the eyes crossing in. In babies, a flat wide nasal bridge can also make the illusion of the eyes crossing in seem more severe. What is happening is that those skin folds along the inner corners of the eyes are making it harder to see the white surface of the eye underneath. The illusion of the eyes crossing in becomes especially noticeable if a child is looking off to the side.
How do you check to make sure the eyes are not actually crossing in?
At the pediatric ophthalmologist's office, we check eye alignment carefully by using a number of different exam techniques. Please refer to my post on the basics of strabismus for pictures and descriptions of these techniques.
What is the treatment for pseudostrabismus?
Here's the good news. If your child has been checked out by a pediatric ophthalmologist and s/he says your child has pseudostrabismus, then no treatment is needed. As your baby's face grows and matures, the appearance of the eyes crossing in becomes less apparent. Please note that some babies with pseudostrabismus can still develop true strabismus down the road, so if you have concerns that your child's eyes seem to be persistently crossing in, please touch base with your local pediatric ophthalmologist to double check your child's eyes!
As with all posts on this website, these are meant to be for educational purposes only. These posts do not constitute medical advice and does not substitute a visit to your local ophthalmologist if you have concerns.