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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

6 month old baby eyes not quite right... experiences please!

(18 Posts)
Purplelooby Thu 28-Feb-13 22:21:24

I have noticed this for a while - DS (6 months) appears ever so slightly cross-eyed. When he focuses on close objects like my face his eyes are never quite aligned. It's not massively obvious: he looks like adults I know who have a slightly lazy eye, IFSWIM. Anyway I just thought it was an age thing.

Today though, I took DS to be weighed and the HV (who is great) asked whether she could check something. She got him to track a pen and then said, 'it's nothing to worry about yet, but...'. She said that we will keep an eye on it (no pun) and that she can refer us to an opthalmologist if needs be, but that it could just be that he has a wide nose-bridge.

Anyway something accured to me - I have always said that DS's hand-eye coordination is poor and I just assumed that this was developmental. Tonight I observed him and what is wierd is that his manipulation skills are quite good - e.g. he accurately feeds himself with a spoon if I hand it to him - but when he reaches to grab, he sort of aims in the general direction and then moves his hand and uses touch to find the object. Like tonight I held his favourite rattle in front of him - he ended up grabbing my thumb first. Similar when he touches my hair/face - he sort of flails his hand at it like a 2/3 month old before he finds what he wants and grabs it.

Does anyone have any experience of similar? What did it end up being? Should I request a referal or does the hand-eye coordination just sounds like normal development? Dr Google gave me exactly no answers as to what it could be...

DisAstrophe Thu 28-Feb-13 22:28:05

I have no idea if this is a problem or not. But as it is worrying you I think I would get it checked out. You could either talk to your gp or just walk into any high street optician. Under 16s get free check ups and superspecs have been very good with my ds - especially when he had an eye injury.

If a problem is suspected he will need to be seen by a paediatric eye specialist - probably at a hospital with an eye unit. But a fast way of having a chat with someone about is the high st optician,

sausagesandwich34 Thu 28-Feb-13 22:35:05

Go to your gp and request a referral -the earlier squints are identified the easier they are to correct

I've had a squint since, well forever but I was under the care of the hospital from 8 months and it did make a difference to my long term outcomes

Many squints are minor but some aren't and you are absolutely within your rights to request a referral

When it comes to eyes you can't be too cautious

birchykel Fri 01-Mar-13 06:57:13

Same thing happened to my daughter, we took her to specsavers where I have to book with the paediatrician optician and she said she has a slight squint but the skin in the corners on babies are not tight at this age and so had to go back in six months and all is ok now.
I would get it checked defo.

NeverFullyDressedWithoutAScarf Fri 01-Mar-13 07:03:25

Same thing happened to us (in fact we are off for our regular set of eye appointments today!) but, despite looking like she had a squint and a very strong family history of squints on DH' s side, she is 4 now and they haven't found a squint yet, so she is probably fine. The flap of skin / nose thing was what we were told too and it does seem to be true. Worth going to gp about though, just to double check.

Purplelooby Fri 01-Mar-13 11:09:10

Thank guys - in fact DS is partially Chinese so he has quote a large flap of skin on the inside of each eye and it is true that his eyes are reasonable far apart, but I will definitely request a referal. Can I just ask a stupid question? What is a squint?

chocolatecakeystuff Fri 01-Mar-13 22:24:24

Google squints there's some quite good imformation but basically when the eyes are slightly out of focus so the eyes don't point in the same direction.

Treatment when caught early is usually very effective. Either glasses or eye patch.
(Surgey for severe squints but wouldn't worry about that)

They're quite common.

weegiemum Fri 01-Mar-13 22:30:09

I'd get referred ASAP! My work in family literacy involves working with dc coming up 1, and we've referred a few with undiagnosed squints.

Anything you can do to helps great <goes off to finish local effects paper for Wednesday week!>

Snowfedup Sat 02-Mar-13 16:11:59

Hi the folds of skin at the nose are called epicanthic folds and are the extra skin which will eventually cover the higher bridge of the nose once a child's cartiledge has developed !

It really worries me that an optician told you there was a slight squint and then did nothing about it ! There either is a squint or there is not the epicanthic folds sometimes make it look like there is (a pseudo squint) but have nothing to do with the alignment of the eyes themselves.

Please anyone with a concern about a squint get a referral to an orthoptist they are the ONLY professionals fully trained to identify squints !

blondieminx Sat 02-Mar-13 16:27:06

I have a squint and DD has been checked over at Moorfields Eye Hospital every year to check she hasn't inherited it. They are WONDERFUL there and if you can get to London I'd highly recommend them smile

idiot55 Sun 03-Mar-13 21:19:01

defintly ask for a referral to orthoptics and ophthllamology, health visitors are notoriously bad for "sitting"on squinting children whe they should refer.

It sounds like a pseudosquint, due to broad nasal bridge but best to get checked

cheekyginger Mon 04-Mar-13 22:18:29

Im an orthtoptist and agree with idiot55.

Worth getting it checked.

If your in scotland your HV can directly refer you to your nearest Orthoptic service. Some optometrist will not test a child this young in the first place so your best bet would be referral to your nearest eye clinic.

Good luck smile

exhaustedfromepping Thu 11-Apr-13 21:48:38

I noticed immediately when my LO was born that she had a cross eye. I was dismissed for a long time by my GP. Eventually at about 9 weeks I took my husband with me to insist we get referred to a private doc (very much against GPs wishes who insisted it would right itself!). Eventually saw new doc who confirmed she had Infantile esotropia (squint) in both eyes.Was assessed for some time eventually moved to Great Ormond St and had an op when she was 15 months old. Was the best decision. I have heard stories of people being dismissed and in some cases, the older the get and the longer it gets ignored, it can cause lasting damage to their sight. Good luck and I hope all is rectified soon.

tazmo Sat 13-Apr-13 22:06:27

Hi my dd3 has a defo off centre eye but we were told they would wait until she was 4 to assess. She is currently 9 months. Son was referred to orthotic in Scotland and mentioned it then. My ds1 has lazy eye and my bro had a glide. My dh has a lazy eye but tis much better than when she was 3 months old. Trying not to worry about it!

brettgirl2 Sun 14-Apr-13 08:24:10

My dd got referred (unnecessarily) after her 9 month check. No need to go to gp, just tell hv you've changed your mind and want referring.

munchkinmaster Sun 14-Apr-13 08:34:30

I think all babies can poor coordination between eyes up to about 8 months and after that it might be a problem/squint that needs help. I terrified self with google when dd was 8 months but gp agreed she looked like she may have a squint. Orthoptist was excellent and feels its wide nasal bridge and folds as others have said. She still looks squint to me but am reassured. Did much more thorough assessment than a high street optician. We go back in 6 months.

When I showed her photos of the 'squint' Orthoptist said she needed a photo where was looking face on and straight ahead. If baby looking to the side the 'squint' look may be an illusion.

munchkinmaster Sun 14-Apr-13 08:36:27

tazmo - I think 4 is really old. I think you should query this as squints left longer can be hard to correct.

windywoo26 Sun 14-Apr-13 12:44:39

I have a squint (where my eye muscles don't work properly so my eyes look in slightly different directions). This is how I understand it. If a squint is left untreated it can cause a lazy eye, where you brain decides which, of the slightly different pictures it is getting it will use. The eye that you brain does not use the message from then gets lazy and doesn't work as hard/well and therefore there is loss of vision. If a squint is treated early then it can be corrected and all is well. If left too long (normally after about 7 years of age) then the damage can be permanent. There are a few different ways of treating a squint from a patch over the good eye regularly to surgery. Mine was caught late and has left me with little vision in my left eye. Only issues are that my depth perception is poor and my hard eye co ordination is pretty bad too.

I was concerned by son's eyes were not straight when he was 6 months. I spoke to my optician who told me I had to get him referred to the hospital via our GP. He was seen really quickly and the opthopist was reasonably happy there was not a problem but because it is quite hard to get a 6 month old to concentrate on anything to test properly we are taking him back this week for him to be seen again. I am pretty sure thankfully he has not inherited it but I don't regret getting him checked. It can't do any harm to be sure. The earlier any treatment starts the more successful it is likely to be.

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