Strabismus in newborns: causes, methods of treatment and prevention

In modern times, there is a myth that strabismus in newborns is a serious disease that can not be fully treated. However, this is not so. Today, neonatal strabismus is easily treated. To rid the child of this physical defect permanently, parents need to know why strabismus appears in newborns and what efforts must be taken.


  • 1What it is?
  • 2Causes
  • 3Symptoms
  • 4Diagnostics
  • 5Treatment
    • 5.1Method of occlusion
    • 5.2Special glasses
    • 5.3Surgical intervention
    • 5.4Exercises to treat strabismus
  • 6Complications
  • 7Prevention
  • 8Video
  • 9conclusions

What it is?

Before correcting strabismus in a newborn, you need to know what kind of disease it is, what its causes and symptoms are.Strabismus is one of the few diseases that it can not be recognized even without the help of a specialist.

Strabismus (or strabismus, heterotrophy) is a pathology of the oculomotor apparatus, which is characterized by a violation of the visual axes of both eyes. As a consequence of this disease, the position of the eyeballs becomes nonparallel, becomes asymmetric and can not properly focus on the object.

Strabismus is of two types:

  • Horizontal strabismus.It is the most common type of strabismus, which happens to be convergent or divergent. Convergent strabismus is characterized by the displacement of the visual axes of the eyes toward the center (towards the bridge of the nose), it is also called esotropia. The divergent strabismus is manifested in the displacement of the visual axes of the eyes to the sides, to the outer corners of the eyes. The divergent strabismus is otherwise called exotropy.
  • Vertical strabismus.This type of strabismus is less common. It is characterized by a shift in the central axis of one of the eyeballs above the point of fixation of the glance (hypertropy), or below the fixation point of the glance (hypotrophy).

Also, strabismus happens:

  • Monocular.In this case, only one eye mows, which as a result gradually loses its visual function. As a result, a disease develops, such as dysbinocular amblyopia, which is characterized by a rapid decrease in visual acuity of the mowing eye due to its functional inactivity.
  • Altoining.In this type of strabismus, both eyes alternately mow. Since the perception of visual information involves two eyes, though alternately, a disease such as dysbinocular amblyopia develops in an easier degree.

Usually, babies show a converging strabismus (esotropia). To a lesser degree, there is a divergent strabismus (exotrophy). According to statistics, in 90% of cases, newborns exhibit esotropia, only 10% is exotropic.


The main cause of strabismus or strabism in newborns is weakness of the eye muscles.At this age, the kids do not yet have full control over the movement of the eyeballs, so they can be directed in different directions.

In the first months of life, the appearance of squint symptoms in infants is a completely normal physiological process, so their parents should not worry much.

Symptoms of strabismus can persist in babies for 2-6 months.

As a rule, with time, these symptoms pass, and the direction of the visual axes of the eyeballs come to a normal position.This is due to the gradual strengthening of the eye muscles as the baby grows and develops. In addition, over time, the toddler learns the ability to focus his eyes and control the movement of the eye muscles.

However, in a certain number of babies, strabismus persists even at an older age, after a period of neonatal.The reasons for this acquired eye disease can be many, namely:

  • improper care of a child(for example, the toys are too close to the baby);
  • the illnesses borne by the mother of the child during pregnancy;
  • decreased immunity, due to acute inflammatory processes or viral diseases.
  • inflammatory, vascular or tumor changes in the eye muscles;
  • congenital diseases or birth injuries;
  • trauma and infectious diseases of the brain;
  • diseases of the nervous system;
  • defects in the musculature of the eyes;
  • hereditary factor.

If the period of strengthening the eye muscles has already passed, and the child's eyes still do not look in one direction, parents should definitely contact an oculist to correct this defect.

In no case can you ignore the manifestations of strabismus in infants, since later this can lead to serious visual impairment, which will be difficult to correct.

The probability of recovery depends on how timely and promptly the parents turned to the ophthalmologist.


First of all, the presence of strabismus in the baby can be recognized visually. In addition to asymmetrical sight, the following symptoms also appear:

  • tilted or turned head;
  • screwing up;
  • double vision in the eyes;
  • dizziness.


Diagnosis of strabismus begins with a comprehensive ophthalmological examination.At the same time, tests, biometric examinations, examination of the structure of the eye, and refraction studies are carried out.

The ophthalmologist examines the timing of the appearance of strabismus at the examination, and also, clarifies the relationship with the traumatized and suffered diseases of the child.

Initially, an external examination is performed, during which the symmetry of the face and eye slits is evaluated, and the position of the eyeballs is checked.After that, visual acuity is checked without correction by trial lenses. Clinical refraction is investigated using such procedures as skiascopy and computer refractometry.Such procedures as biomicroscopy and ophthalmoscopy examine the anterior parts of the brain, transparent media and the fundus.

Also, a study of binocular vision using a test with a covering of the eye is carried out. When squinting, the squinting eye is deflected to the side. In this case, also, a measurement of the angle of strabismus, the study of convergence, the determination of the volume of accommodation.


In modern ophthalmology, there is a large arsenal of safe and effective methods of curing strabismus.Treatment of strabismus in children, as a rule, is complex.

Correction of strabismus is done by ophthalmologists.Treatment of this eye disease is long enough and can take months, and even years.Typically, the duration of treatment depends on the severity and type of disease.

Treatment will be most effective if measures are taken immediately after the problem is detected. It is for this reason that you should never hesitate to consult an oculist when the first symptoms of the disease are found.

Before the treatment of strabism, the cause of the disease, the side and degree of strabismus are initially taken into account.As treatment methods can use occlusion, wearing glasses with gluing one of the glasses, special exercises for eye muscles or surgery.

Method of occlusion

Occlusion is a method of correcting strabismus in children. It consists in wearing a special eye patch for a certain time.

The dressing, as a rule, should close a healthy eye. This is done so that a weak, mowing eye can develop.Improving the visual acuity of the mowing eye is done by artificially impairing the visual acuity of a healthy eye. If visual information can not be perceived, a diseased eye is connected to the healthy eye, which gradually forms the correct neural connections in the child's brain.Due to this, the visual axes of the eyeballs are aligned and, thus, the strabismus is corrected, and the mowing eye restores its visual function.

Wearing the eye patch should be carried out under the supervision of an ophthalmologist. It is a circle equipped with an adhesive tape. With the help of a sticky tape, the circle fits snugly against the child's face, which completely eliminates the possibility of peeping a healthy eye.

Parents need to be able to properly fix the bandage on the child's face. In case the child wears glasses, the circle of occlusion should in no case be fixed on spectacle lenses, since the child can spy with a healthy eye and the treatment of strabismus, thus, will be useless.

The problem for parents may be that wearing a bandage can not bring any pleasure to the child, but, on the contrary, only to bring discomfort.In this case, the child should try to convince the need and benefit of wearing a bandage. It is desirable for the child to demonstrate clearly why the eye patch is needed.

The eye patch should not be worn at all times. As a rule, it is worn daily for several hours. The time of dressing is chosen individually by the ophthalmologist.

Special glasses

If a child does not undergo stubism after infancy, the ophthalmologist prescribes special glasses for permanent wearing.Points are necessary for the reason that the visual acuity of the mowing eye is usually very reduced due to the development of amblyopia. In addition, in most cases, eye diseases are accompanied by eye diseases such as hyperopia, nearsightedness and astigmatism.As a rule, special glasses effectively correct slightly expressed forms of strabismus.

The selection of glasses should be correct and individual, taking into account all the peculiarities of the concrete case of strabismus.Otherwise, this will not fix the problem of strabismus, but, on the contrary, will only aggravate it.Points, as a rule, are selected in several sessions.

It is very important to choose the right frame for glasses. The rim should never be pressed against the ears or nose, it must fully fit the type of the child's face, ensure the correct position of the glasses in front of the eyes.

When correcting strabismus, wearing glasses should be permanent. Points, as a rule, are removed only during sleep.

Surgical intervention

In some cases, surgical correction of strabismus is performed.It effectively eliminates the external manifestations of strabismus, but not in all cases returns the opportunity to clearly see.

Operations to correct strabismus are of two types:

  • Reinforcing.During the strengthening operation, the muscle is shortened by removing its part. The place of attachment of the muscle, thus, remains the same. The effect of a weak muscle during this surgical intervention is enhanced. This operation restores the correct muscle balance, strengthens and weakens one of the muscles that move the eyeball.
  • Weakening.During this operation, the place of attachment of the muscle is changed, it is transplanted a little further from the cornea. Thus, it is weakened.

Exercises to treat strabismus

Exercises, as a rule, are conducted in the daytime in several receptions of 20-25 minutes.

The total duration of exercise should be about 1-2 hours. All exercises should be performed with glasses.In the exercises can additionally be used dominoes, lotto, various cubes, mosaic, pictures and other elements.To the child was interested in doing exercises in them, the game elements must be involved.


With strabismus, children may experience complications that make treatment difficult, such as:

Convergent strabismus
  • Brain scotoma.This complication in many cases makes it difficult to correct strabismus. It manifests itself as the suppression of an image in one of the eyes. The signs of scotoma are the appearance of various dark spots, flickering "flies defocusing the image. Also, with this complication, colors fade. In children up to a year, this symptom is almost impossible to detect, because for about a year the child as such has no image fixation.
  • Abnormal correspondence of retinas.The cause of this complication is the formation of new reflex abnormal connections, which causes a change in the position of the eyeballs. This complication occurs, as a rule, from the very childhood. Most often, this complication occurs with altening strabismus, in some cases - with unilateral strabismus. Early manifestations of strabismus contribute to the severe form of ACS.
  • Disbinocular amblyopia.This is one of the most common complications arising from strabismus. It is characterized by a sharp decrease in the visual acuity of the mowing eye. The appearance of this visual defect involved the higher departments of the central nervous system.


To prevent strabismus, you must follow certain rules:

  • Do not hang objects near the crib of the baby that will too attract his attention, since his gaze is directed to the same point.
  • Items in the crib or in the stroller must be located at the arm's length.
    To refrain from too abrupt movements next to the newborn.
  • It is necessary to allow the child to watch TV from the age of not earlier than 3 years.
  • The child should have a correct posture.At low inclinations over drawing or reading in a child, the risk of strabismus increases. The font of books should be large enough.
  • If there were cases of strabismus in the family, then it is necessary to come to the ophthalmologist for an examination more often.
    Do not allow the child to watch TV in a lying position.

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Since strabismus in newborns is not only a cosmetic defect, but also a serious disease that leads to disrupting eye work and visual disorders, it can not be ignored.In addition, if the child is not cured in time from strabismus, this can lead subsequently to serious violations mentality in adults, such as closure, indecisiveness, irritability and then cause limitations in the choice profession.Therefore, parents should take all efforts to resolve this problem.