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What is a Pseudostrabismus or an apparent squint ?

Pseudostrabismus are apparent squints.  Pseudo means false, so pseudostrabismus means false squints. Here, the parents and other family members and friends feel that the child has squint. When these children come to the clinic, even we as doctors feel that the child may have squint. However, when we examine the child we find that the child does not have a squint. 

This is nothing but an optical illusion and its because of a wide nasal bridge or a wide and flat nose, something that children frequently have.

Why do we see this type of  apparent squint ?

We are normally used to seeing an equal amount of white on either side of the black of the eye. If the child has a flat nose then the white part of the eye towards the nose gets covered by the skin. Thus, we get the impression that the child’s eyes are inwards.

What is the treatment for this type of  apparent squint?

We dont do any treatment for this squint and usually the child outgrows this. As the nose develops the skin of the nose gets pulled and more white starts becoming visible and this appearance goes away. 

See the picture. The first picture shows a child whose parents think that their child has a squint (apparent squint). This child’s parents get convinced and incidentally have been to us a few times over the years making sure that nothing needs to be done. The second picture is what we do in front of the parents to show to them how the eyes dont really have squint. If you notice in the second picture because the skin of the nose is being pulled there is more white visible toward the nose.  Thus, the child’s eyes now appears like they are straight.

Frequently Asked Questions

Not at all actually. As mentioned the childs eyes are normal and this is only an appearance and usually would dissapear on its own.

Usually the child stops appearing like he or she has a squint.  This happens because as the child grows the nose of the child develops and grows too.  As the nose protrudes out the skin the pulled along.  The nose appears to be less flat one stops seeing the squint.

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