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How do children get strabismus?

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A small number of children will get strabismus -- eyes that don’t line up like they should. Infantile esotropia is a type that affects premature babies. When the muscles that surround and control the eye don't work together, your child’s eyes will point in different directions. Doctors think it happens to preemies because the baby's brain hasn't developed enough to control her eye muscles. These other factors play into it as well:

  • Brain or nerve problems like water on the brain, bleeding in the brain, seizure disorders, cerebral palsy, and other conditions
  • Retinal damage from ROP
  • A buildup of blood vessels under the skin (the doctor will all this a hemangioma) near the eye
  • Brain or eye tumors
  • A cataract or eye injury
  • Developmental delay
  • Genetic disorders

From: Eye Problems in Premature Babies WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: "Are Preterm Births on the Decline in the United States? Recent Data from the National Vital Statistics System."

FamilyDoctor.org: "Caring for Your Premature Baby."

PubMedHealth: "Retinopathy of Prematurity."

National Eye Institute: "Facts About Retinopathy of Prematurity."

KidsHealth.org: "Retinopathy of Prematurity."

American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus: "Infantile Estropia."

GetEyeSmart.org: "What Is Strabismus?"

MedLinePlus: "Strabismus."

Reviewed by Alan Kozarsky on January 17, 2018

SOURCES:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: "Are Preterm Births on the Decline in the United States? Recent Data from the National Vital Statistics System."

FamilyDoctor.org: "Caring for Your Premature Baby."

PubMedHealth: "Retinopathy of Prematurity."

National Eye Institute: "Facts About Retinopathy of Prematurity."

KidsHealth.org: "Retinopathy of Prematurity."

American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus: "Infantile Estropia."

GetEyeSmart.org: "What Is Strabismus?"

MedLinePlus: "Strabismus."

Reviewed by Alan Kozarsky on January 17, 2018

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When should your child see an eye doctor for strabismus?

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