Written by Editorial Team
All you want to do in the initial days after delivery is hold your baby in your arms and look at his beautiful eyes. Wait a minute – did his eyes look crossed? Are his eyes misaligned? Is your newborn baby cross-eyed? Do not panic!
It is normal for an infant’s eyes to appear crossed or misaligned. It happens in a lot of babies and usually goes away on its own by the time your baby is four months (or much before!). Still not convinced? Read on to understand more about the newborn baby cross Eyed.
First, newborn eyes are commonly crossed or looked that way, so there is no need to panic as yet. There are three reasons why your baby might newborn baby cross-eyed appears:
Some babies are born with a few extra folds of skin around the eye, especially in the inner corners. This extra skin in the inner corners can give the appearance of crossed eyes. However, as babies grow, these extra folds of skin will disappear and so will the appearance of a crossed eye.
Let’s face it. Your baby is just born. He does not yet know many things, including how to coordinate his body parts. Just like he doesn’t know how to take his hand and put it in his mouth yet (he will master this in a few months), he does not yet have a hang of working his eyes together. Do not worry, and he will learn this soon enough.
There are six tiny muscles around each of our eyes that work in sync to get our eyes to move around. In newborns, at times, one or more of these muscles might be slightly weaker than others, thereby restricting the movements of the respective eye. This is why even if they do not have crossed eyes, you notice their eyes do not move in perfect sync. Again, all the muscles will become stronger by the time your baby is 3 or 4 months old.
That being said, by the time your baby hits the 3-month milestone, he should be able to follow objects and people with both his eyes, thanks to better coordination. However, if the eyes never seem to align, it would be best to take the advice of your pediatrician.
One or both of the newborn’s eyes may be crossed. Also, the condition may be intermittent or persistent. Signs of cross-eye in newborns include:
During the first few months of their lives, many infants have the appearance of having crossed eyes at times. In most cases, this problem goes away once the baby is about 4 months old. If the baby continues to exhibit cross-eyed behavior after the fourth month, you should be extremely concerned and bring it up with your child’s doctor’s notice.
In the initial few months, your doctor will tell you exactly what we told above – that it is normal for newborns to have a crossed eyes appearance. You would also notice that during each of your routine doctor visits, your doctor would shine a small torch into your baby’s eyes. He is checking if the eyes are developing as they should be and if the eyes are responding to the light as is expected for your baby’s age group.
If the results of this small test are satisfactory, you have nothing to worry about it. Just wait it out. That said, if your baby’s eyes look crossed all the time, if you feel particularly concerned, then it is a good idea to talk to the doctor to rule out any other problems.
Although not very common, the newborn baby cross-eyed can be an indicator of bigger eye problems. There are two issues that can happen:
This refers to a newborn baby cross-eyed that does not resolve itself in 4 months. The eyes appear uncoordinated. It would appear as if the child is looking at different points with each eye and never focusing on the same point. Strabismus is the result of the way “brain” communicates with the eye muscles. It can be corrected through various strabismus treatment options.
If the child’s eyes are misaligned, or if there are any vision problems like near- or farsightedness, or there is a block in vision due to a cataract, then in some cases the brain will shut down the vision of one eye. This condition is called amblyopia. By fixing the underlying problem, lazy eyes can be managed. But identifying it is very difficult as kids are often not good at telling you that their “one eye does not work.”
Persisting cross-eyed after the fourth month, as previously stated, can be an indication of an underlying eye issue like strabismus. Strabismus can lead to amblyopia (also known as “lazy eye”) if left untreated. Therefore, it is important to diagnose and treat strabismus as early as possible.
Various strabismus treatment options include Eyeglasses, Eye drops, Eye patching, and Surgery on the eye muscles. But if left untreated, it can deteriorate the vision of one eye.
In the event that your baby refuses to wear an eye patch and eyeglass, your doctor may recommend eye drops (called atropine drops), which temporarily blur the vision in the stronger eye. The eye drops temporarily blur the vision in the straight eye, forcing the crossed eye to work harder, so the vision and muscles improve within time.
Strabismus can be corrected in many infants with the use of eyeglasses, sometimes in conjunction with specialized prism lenses. Although it may be challenging for making a baby wear glass, it is important for infants to have clear vision.
In some cases, it’s enough to have your baby wear eyeglasses to straighten out the eyes. It doesn’t improve by using eyeglasses, and then the doctor may suggest an eye patch that the baby has to wear on the straight or normal eye for a couple of hours each day. This allows the baby to see only through the crossed eye, and, as time passes, the vision and muscles in this eye improve and become stronger and get to the correct position.
If your baby’s strabismus doesn’t improve with eyeglasses, eye patching, and eye drops, then the final one is eye muscles may need surgery. Surgery will loosen or tighten the eye muscles, which causes crossed eyes. Always this is not the cause of the condition. Some diseases can also cause strabismus rarely and are treatable without surgery. This is why it’s important to have a medical professional examine your kid before considering a surgical option thoroughly whether surgery is necessary or not.
If diagnosed in the early stages, the condition is treatable by your doctor more easily. For this reason, early diagnosis and treatment are key to solving it easily.
There are other vision problems that the doctor will screen your child if his crossed eyes remain persistent after 3-4 months. The most important thing to remember is that most vision problems can be corrected, through surgery, medicine and glasses. And as we said before, the infant-crossed eyes in newborns are quite normal, and more often than not, it will resolve itself.
With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.
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