Why do newborn babies appear to squint?
Note that it's normal for a newborn baby's eyes to wander or cross now and then, up to about 4 months of age. He's just getting the hang of making his eyes work together. If your baby's eyes seem crossed most of the time, though, or if it doesn't get better, talk with the doctor.
Infantile esotropia is a type of crossed eyes that appears in babies during their first year of life. Crossed eyes can also occur later in life. It's usually caused by physical disorders, like eye injuries, cerebral palsy, or stroke. You may also develop crossed eyes if you have a lazy eye or are farsighted.
- One or both of the eyes may turn in, out, up or down. An eye turn may be constant (when the eye turns all of the time) or intermittent (turning only some of the time). Strabismus in children does not go away on its own and strabismus in adults is treatable, so strabismus treatment is necessary.
- Does amblyopia get worse? Vision in the amblyopic eye may continue to decrease if left untreated. The brain simply pays less and less attention to the images sent by the amblyopic eye. Eventually, the condition stabilizes, and the eye is virtually unused.
- In the extreme, complete blindness in one eye generally leads to the blind eye reverting to an anatomical position of rest. Although many possible causes of strabismus are known, among them severe and/or traumatic injuries to the afflicted eye, in many cases no specific cause can be identified.
Squint (also known as strabismus) is a condition that arises because of an incorrect balance of the muscles that move the eye, faulty nerve signals to the eye muscles and focusing faults (usually long sight). Many children with squints have poor vision in the affected eye.
- Treatment for strabismus may include eyeglasses, prisms, vision therapy, or eye muscle surgery. If detected and treated early, strabismus can often be corrected with excellent results.
- A small amount of the increased clarity of vision is due to changing the shape of the eye as you squint. Typically, this is done with glasses or contact lenses; both of which bend light into focus and therefore correct vision. When we squint it creates the same effect as looking through a pinhole.
- Paralytic squint. Paralytic squint is usually acquired through damage to the extraocular muscles or their nerves. Diplopia is usual and maximal in the direction of gaze produced by the weak muscle. The angle between the longitudinal axes of the eyes varies through the range of eye movements.
Treatment may include a combination of patching, eye glasses, eye drops, eye exercises, and surgery. Treatment using the spectacles to correct any refractive errors may cure some types of squint, but to be effective the spectacles must be worn most of the time.
- Note that it's normal for a newborn baby's eyes to wander or cross now and then, up to about 4 months of age. He's just getting the hang of making his eyes work together. If your baby's eyes seem crossed most of the time, though, or if it doesn't get better, talk with the doctor.
- At birth an infant can detect light and motion, then can make out faces and large shapes. By the end of the first month, a baby can make eye contact and focus on objects about 12 inches away. By the time a baby is 3 to 4 months old, he can distinguish between colors and focus on smaller objects.
- Moms have intimate contact with their babies for nine months. But dads also can bond even before the baby is born. Research shows that unborn babies can recognize their mother's (and possibly their father's) voice starting at 32 weeks.
Updated: 25th November 2019