Ocular Instability of Infancy

What is ocular instability of infancy?


Ocular instability of infancy is a misalignment of the eyes that occurs from time to time in the first few months of life. This occasional misalignment is fairly common as newborns and young infants are learning to use both eyes together and their vision is developing. When a patient has ocular instability of infancy, the patient’s eye may temporarily drift outward or cross inward. In patients with ocular instability of infancy, the eyes and vision are otherwise healthy and normal.


How long does ocular instability last?

This condition is usually seen in the first 3-4 months of life but can be seen up to 6 months of age.

Newborns and young infants with misalignment of the eyes may need to be evaluated by an ophthalmologist. The eye doctor can check to see if the angle of deviation of the eye is large, if the deviation is constant, and if one eye or both eyes are affected.


What is the treatment for Ocular Instability of Infancy?

The need for treatment depends on whether or not the condition improves as the child grows. In most cases, ocular instability of infancy resolves on its own without treatment. If the child’s eyes continue to cross or drift after 6 months of age, then it is less likely the condition is ocular instability of infancy. An evaluation by an ophthalmologist would be necessary to determine what type of treatment is needed.