If your child has strabismus, which is a misalignment of the eyes, it’s usually the result of a neuromuscular problem. Our pediatric ophthalmologists may recommend glasses or even surgery to straighten the eyes. The important thing is to begin treatment as soon as possible to help improve your child’s vision.
Strabismus ("struh-BIZ-mus") occurs when both eyes are oriented in different directions.
Sometimes called “crossed eyes” or “walleye,” pediatric strabismus often begins when a child is very young and is usually the result of a problem with neuromuscular, including brain, control of eye movement, or less often, the actual eye muscle.
Signs of Strabismus in Children
Strabismus can be congenital (present at birth) or develop in childhood. Many times a family member or teacher notices the misalignment of the eyes; however, there are some signs and symptoms your child might exhibit, including:
- complaining of double vision (seeing two objects when there's only one in view)
- having trouble seeing things in general
- squinting or head tilting (particularly in kids who aren’t old enough to talk)
Left untreated, strabismus can cause vision loss. Only a trained pediatric ophthalmologist can diagnose and treat strabismus in children, so talk to your child’s doctor if you suspect there is a problem. A referral to Nemours might be necessary.
For Appointments: (302) 651-4200
- photo ID
- medical and pharmacy insurance cards
- preferred pharmacy name and phone number
- names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
- guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
- Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
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Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
Resources for Patients & Families
Your Nemours pediatric ophthalmologist at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children may recommend glasses, patching (wearing an eye patch over the good eye in order to strengthen the weaker eye), or in some cases, surgery to straighten the eyes. The important thing is to begin treatment as soon as possible to help improve your child’s vision.
Specialized Training in Pediatric Ophthalmology
Nemours pediatric ophthalmologists (meaning they've completed a residency in pediatric ophthalmology and are trained specifically in pediatric eye problems) offer comprehensive eye examinations and testing in order to diagnose and treat infant, childhood, and adolescent eye disorders. And, if needed, they have the skill and experience to perform pediatric eye surgery.