Asked by Angela Wiser, Glenarm, Illinois
My 3-year-old daughter has a trick. She can turn her right eye completely inward at will. We noticed it when she was an infant and have taken her several times to a pediatric ophthalmologist. He checked her out, dilated her pupils and suggested that there was nothing wrong, especially now that she has control over it. Should I stop worrying about it now, or go get a second opinion (the second opinion would be quite a drive)?
Living Well Expert
Dr. Jennifer Shu
Children's Medical Group
Thank you for your question. Involuntary (uncontrollable) inward movement of the eyes in the first few months of life can be normal, and it typically disappears once a baby's eye muscles strengthen and become better coordinated. Being able to turn one's eye inward at will as a child gets older can also be normal, as your pediatric ophthalmologist has suggested. Over time your daughter may stop trying to turn her eye inward and you will not need to worry. In addition, if she has some movement of her eye that is happening beyond her control, it will be necessary to undergo further evaluation. Sometimes it can be hard to tell if the eye turning is being done at will in children this age, and there may also be different findings on repeat testing, so it's important to have close continued follow-up with a pediatric ophthalmologist.
I consulted with Dr. Ravi D. Goel, a board-certified ophthalmologist at Regional Eye Associates in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and an Instructor on the Wills Eye Institute Cataract and Primary Eye Care Service in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He reports that uncontrolled inward deviations of the eye may occur more often when a child is tired, so you may want to monitor whether this is happening more when your daughter is sleepy. Because this type of disorder can put a child at risk for permanent vision loss, a second opinion can be helpful. If the second physician agrees with the first, the parents' minds will be at ease. If there is a difference in the diagnosis, the patient will benefit from a rigorous evaluation and treatment if needed.
Your daughter's pediatrician can also check out her "trick" and help you decide whether a drive for a second opinion would be warranted. Good luck!
CNN Comment Policy: CNN encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. All comments should be relevant to the topic and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. You are solely responsible for your own comments, the consequences of posting those comments, and the consequences of any reliance by you on the comments of others. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying and other information you provide via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statement.
The information contained on this page does not and is not intended to convey medical advice. CNN is not responsible for any actions or inaction on your part based on the information that is presented here. Please consult a physician or medical professional for personal medical advice or treatment.