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Why don't my baby's eyes move together?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
For the first few weeks of life, often the eyes do not move together. Sometimes one or both eyes will turn intermittently outward or inward. Other times, you may think that they are not quite in sync. A way to tell is to see if the reflection of light falls on the same area of the iris on both eyes. If it does, the eyes are probably moving together. If by six to twelve weeks of age your baby's eyes are still turning out, in, or not together, you should bring it to the attention of your doc. Strabismus -- when one or both eyes are clearly misaligned -- occurs in about 4 percent of children younger than six years of age. More commonly, if the eye or eyes look toward the nose (cross-eyed) or look toward the side (walleyed), a pediatric ophthalmologist (not an optometrist) needs to evaluate the problem. Early treatment to make sure that there is a well-focused retinal image is extremely important so that the visual cortex is stimulated by both eyes. Some treatments include patching the good eye to make the straying eye work harder and eventually correct itself. Special glasses can also help. The earlier the intervention, the less time it takes to fix the problem, and the better the outcome will be. Surgery is also an option to repair the muscle that controls eye movement.
YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

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YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

There’s little doubt that parenting can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences you’ll ever have. But it can be plenty tough, too: Around the clock, you’re working to keep your...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.