Thursday, September 3, 2009

Are these eyes crossed?

Eyes that appear chronically misaligned in infants can be a sign of strabismus, a condition in which the muscles of the eyes do not coordinate. Strabismus is common among premature infants, and can be a sign of hydrocephalus. Carolyn and I have been convinced for a while that Max's eyes aren't quite aligned properly. What do you think? (click for a larger picture)

Are these eyes crossed?
These eyes look kind of funny, right?

Carolyn took Max today to see M., a pediatric ophthalmologist, who, coincidentally, last saw Max on Christmas Day of last year. Back then he was still in Georgetown's NICU. M. earned a place in our hearts by ruling out retinopathy of prematurity, a truly awful disease that strikes only premature infants. Upon first seeing Max, M. certainly thought that he had strabismus.

More careful examination, however, revealed Max to have pseudostrabismus, the mere appearance of crossed eyes. M dilated Max's pupils and had a look at his optic nerves; because these are outposts of the brain, they can show signs of increased intercranial pressure. Max passed that test as well.