Some Babies with Crossed Eyes Get Better Without Treatment

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — March 19, 2002 — Crossed eyes (esotropia) during infancy can disrupt normal visual development, but in some infants, the crossing may resolve spontaneously without treatment. In others, the crossing will not resolve and early intervention with eye muscle surgery to straighten the eyes will be necessary to allow binocular vision development.

The Congenital Esotropia Observational Study was performed to determine the percentage of infants whose crossed eyes will spontaneously resolve and to identify the characteristics of those children whose crossed eyes will not resolve spontaneously and will require early eye muscle surgery. Following study guidelines, 137 investigators participated throughout the United States and enrolled 175 patients.

Infants between one month and four months of age with crossed eyes were enrolled in the study and were followed until they were seven months old. Complete outcome data was available on 170 patients.

Overall, in 27 percent of patients in the study, their crossed eyes resolved without surgery by their final examination at seven months of age. However, spontaneous resolution occurred in only 6 percent of infants who had a constant, large degree of crossing (measuring greater than or equal to 40 prism diopters).

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