EN Cross-eyes


During delivery extreme forces are exposed to the unborn body of a baby. In normal circumstances the flexibility of the baby’s body and skull can adopt these forces well. But these strains could cause long term effects to the health or well-being of the child. The emerging baby can easily accommodate the pressure of the journey down the birth canal because the cranial (skull) bones so pliable that they can easily bend, overlap and distort during the birth process and yet still protect the delicate brain and spinal cord. The head’s adjustment to the shape of the birth canal is known as cranial molding.

Sometimes cranial moulding can cause cross-eyes or squints. Each eye socket is composed of seven bones that are still very flexible in a new-born. Pressure on these bones can slightly change the shape of the socket which in turn changes the shape of the eyeball. And that will affect the ability of the eye to focus. The eye muscles controlling the eye movement will develop unequally in order to compensate. Often slight cross-eye appears to solve itself when the eye muscles strengthen as the baby grows. But the underlying course might still be present and as the child gets older, the unequal muscle and nerve tension might affect the functioning of the eye. The child might have difficulties to focus or be prone to headaches when reading.

More severe cross-eye could be caused solely by cranial moulding as well as by a combination of factors. Parents of a baby with severe cross-eye often get advised a surgical procedure to correct the visual effect by the time the baby is about 10 months old.

It is important to diagnose the correct cause for eye problems and design the treatment accordingly. Cranial distortion and its effects on both the eye socket and the eyeball are treated very effectively with Osteopathic procedures in a young newborn. If severe cross-eye is diagnosed at an early stage it often results in avoiding an eye operation. Osteopathic treatment of an older baby often could reduce the severity by lowering the angle of the cross-eye so that the eventual operation would need to adjust the eye less.

Though cross-eye caused by cranial stress is easier to treat in very young children, even at older age the results of Osteopathic treatment are remarkable. Dr Steggerda regularly treats this problem in children of all different ages.


Ārsts Osteopāts Olga Steggerda, Rīga, Latvija    Olgas Steggerda ārsta osteopāta prakse