Sunday, March 4, 2012

Infants Born With Both Eyes Crossed

My brother was born with both eyes crossed.  By the time, he was in the third grade the doctors were telling my parents he would become blind if he did not have surgery.  The down side with the surgery is that there was only a 50% chance it would save his eyesight. 

I believe the type of crossed eyes my brother had is called congenital Esotropia.  Congenital means from birth.  Most infants are born with eyes that aren't aligned at birth.  Only 23% of infants are born with straight eyes.  Within three months the eyes gradually come into more consistent alignment.

True congenital esotropia is an inward turn of a large amount of the eye, and is present in very few children, but the infant will not outgrow it.  True infantile esotropia usually appears between the ages of 2 and 4 months. 

The baby with infantile estropia usually cross fixates, which means that he or she uses either eye to look in the opposite direction.  The right eye is used to look toward the left side , and the left eye is used to look toward the right side. 

Some children who develop this type of crossed eyes, also have atypical gross motor development patterns.  They typically skip the crawling stage with bilateral movements, and go right from crawling to standing.  In most circumstances, surgery will be required.

There are other types of Estropia, which will not require surgery if therapy will work.  Esotropia with amblyopia (lazy eye) is one of these.  Accommodative esoptropia is one that occurs around 2 years of age.  This type is caused when looking at things up close and usually can be taken care of with glasses. 

This disease can be caused by problems with the eye muscles, the nerves that transmit information to the muscles, or the control center in the brain that directs eye movements.  It can also develop due to other general health conditions or eye injuries.

There can be a family history of crossed eyes.  Refractive error - people who have a significant amount of uncorrected farsightedness (hyperopia) may develop a problem because of the additional amount of eye focusing required to keep objects clear.  Also, medical conditions such as Down syndrome and cerebral palsy, or someone who has suffered a stroke or head injury are at a higher risk of developing strabismus.

More information can be found on these subjects on Google at the American Optometric Association and the article by Dr. Jeffery Cooper, Rachel Cooper and Dr. Leonard Press, FCOVD, FAAO at the Optometrists Network. 

My brother was fortunate because he had the surgery and is able to see.  

Have a happy Sunday and see you next week. 



Louise Behiel said...

Who knew? What an interesting post about a topic we're aware of but know nothing about, except for info like this. and I'm so glad your brother can see. I wonder if that situation carries the same risks in todays health care?

Linda LaRoque said...

Interesting post, Sandy. There are so many congenital conditions we don't know about until faced with personally.

Sandy said...

Louise, yes it does carry the same risk but it's very rare.

Linda, this happened with my brother before they knew what to call it other than being cross-eyed. He faced a lot of ridicule as a child and older.

Marianne Stephens said...

Didn't know about this, Sandy. Does it run in your family?
Glad your brother's surgery went okay!

Sandy said...

Marianne, I'm not sure if it runs in the family or not. My oldest niece had what is called lazy eye, but they worked with her to correct the problem. I've had a bad stigmatism since infancy.

Thanks for stopping by.