Update: Strabismus and Dannielynn Birkhead: Steps toward correction

02/01/2008 at 03:15 PM ET

Update: Larry has confirmed that Dannielynn will be proceeding with surgery. It will take place at Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA, and Larry is "hoping to have her scheduled by the end of February."

Source: OK!, February 11th issue, p. 12

Originally posted January 13th: As many CBB readers have noted, Dannielynn Hope Marshall Birkhead, 16 months, has a condition called strabismus, in which her left eye turns inward towards her nose. This condition affects up to 5% of children, and early intervention is important, as strabismus is not outgrown.  Oftentimes, it leads to double vision due to misalignment of the eyes, and the brain will eventually ‘suppress’ the image of the weaker eye, disregarding it.

For the first time, dad Larry Birkhead, 34, opens up about the condition and what they are doing to correct it.

She has strabismus, which is a turning in of one of her eyes, and it’s something that we’ve been looking out for for a while. I’ve been taking her to the doctors, and Anna [Nicole Smith] had taken Dannielynn in the Bahamas to see about it when she was just a few months old.

All of the opinions that I had, every one of them saidthat it’s very, very unlikely [that anything Anna took caused this], because no one knows one-hundred percentwhat causes [strabismus]. But I point-blank ask every single doctor,’Could any medications that Anna was on have caused this?’ and theysaid that it’s more likely that a genetic reason could have caused it.

For now, Larry is focusing on having Dannielynn wear an eye patch over her stronger right eye, in an attempt to strengthen the left one, as well as taking medicated eye drops to dilate the pupil. In any case, Larry wishes to avoid surgery on his daughter if at all possible.

I got her a little pirate doll to show her that people wear patches, and it’s okay, and daddy wears a patch if he has to to show her it’s okay. I’ve been really aggressive with the patch as much as I can be. At first she was really open to it and it didn’t really bother her. Now, she’s gotten a little smart because she can pull it off, so it’s a little bit harder for me to patch her.

I’m going to do everything to make sure that it’s corrected, but having lost Anna and Daniel and my dad — my dad just came out of a simple surgery and he died — it’s just tough for me to think about surgeries with [Dannielynn].

Source: ET

Thanks to CBB reader Sarah.

If you’re close to a child who has or had strabismus, or if you’ve had it yourself, what was your experience like?

FILED UNDER: Babies , News

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Jennifer on

I was born with strabismus. I started wearing patches when I was a little less than 1 yr old. Then when I was 2 or 3 started wearing patches and glasses to help correct the problem. By the age of 10, I was cleared to stop wearing glasses and my eyes were straight. Now in my 30’s, my eyes are still perfectly straight (you could never tell that there had been a problem). I still have one eye stronger than the other but I have perfect vision (one eye is way more than perfect), but with age my eyes do tire out with prolonged reading and such (especially my stronger one from working harder).

When my boys were born, they both had pseudo-strabismus due to wide bridge of their noses that they needed to grow into. Their eyes are perfect, but they were monitored closely by eye doctors starting around a few months each due to the family history. So just because you see it in babies does not necessarily mean that it is a problem – only an eye doctor can tell you for sure.

Bess on

I had it when I was a baby, my parents went through the whole patch and surgery stress, and it was completely worth it. By the time I turned 3 my eyes were near-perfect, and to this day (I’m 24) I’m the only person in my family who doesn’t wear glasses or have any eye problems.

Best of luck to Larry and little Dannielynn!

Amanda on

My daughter is 7 months old & has this same condition, only it’s her right eye that turns in. We have a second appointment with the opthamologist later this month, but it’s likely she’ll need surgical correction. When I was a child I also had a similar problem where my eyes would cross when I read, so they think my daughter inherited it from me. It’s likely that Dannielynn inherited this from her mom or dad.

Anyways, good luck to them! I hope the patch works for little Dannielynn and that she can avoid the surgery if possible.

Colette on

I had strabismus as a child and it continues to affect me.

I went through surgery to correct it when I was a baby but I still have a slight squint which leads me to believe it was initially quite severe. Afterwards I continued to use eye patches and receive eye drops every few months.

I have never understood the magnitude of my problem (in fact this article has only only just alerted me to his proper name – thanks CBB!) and in my teenage years I often didn’t wear glasses which I now believe has led to a deterioration of my overall sight in both eyes as my strong eye has had to work harder to compensate for the bad one. However with glasses (which I now wear constantly) my sight is clear.

If Dannielynn is to go through the surgery I don’t think Larry should worry too much. I have no memories at all of mine.

Filipa on

I had it when I was a baby because I was a massive baby (nearly 11 lb) and forceps had to be used which messed up with my eye nerves.

I never wore eye patches but I did wear glasses for a year when I was 2 till I was 3 and my parents decided I should have surgery. I did not see anything for a while after surgery and I still have bad eye sight, but my eyes are perfectly straight and I never had to wear eye patches, which I am quite grateful for because it can be quite traumatising for any child, especially in nursery and school when kids are quite cruel to each other.

The only damage left from it is that my right eye is far stronger than my left one and I can hardly see from my left one, which makes it hard to pluck my eye brows and stuff like that, haha, but it’s the only thing really.

It’s quite a simple surgery and I thank my parents for putting me through it.

Jill on

My son has this condition as well as Amblyopia. He had the surgery when he was 5. He is now 10 and doing fine. We didn’t even notice the problem until he turned 5. We did the patches and the eye drops as well. His vision improved but he still needs to wear glasses. He was born 5 weeks early and I always thought that was the reason he had it until I found out it runs in families. My mother in law has it in both eyes and it was never corrected. I never knew she had it because she wears thick glasses that correct it for her. It’s good to catch it early as the chance of correction is excellent.

Best of luck. Dannielynn will do great with early intervention.

Dana on

Awww, I really like him as a father. I can definitely understand him being hesitant of the surgery, trying other methods instead. There has been so much loss around the two of them. They deserve a little happiness.

Kodie on

I had this condition when I was younger. I never knew the name of it because I was only 2 or 3 but I remember wearing a patch, glasses, and getting eye drops.

Since I was so young, I though the patch was fun. My parents bought me stickers and I got to put one on whenever I had to wear a patch. I never remember wearing them to school so I’m pretty sure it was cleared up by the time I was 4 or 5.

I do remember my parents watching me closely to make sure it never returned (I think I even remember them making comments about how if I was really tired, my eye would start to turn in. But that was when I was much younger; to this day I have no problems). I still wear glasses just because almost everyone in my family does.

When I read this I was kind of excited to know the name of this and understand it a bit better.

It sounds like Larry is doing everything in his power and if he just keeps a positive outlook, I’m sure everything will be fine.

DawnIvie on

That little Dannielynn is so cute. Her Mother did not do anything to hurt her.In her 8th month she was well protected by that stage. So her mom did good carring her.

Marjolein on

I am Marjolein I’m dutch so please excuse by bad english.
I am studying to be a orthoptist (–is the discipline dealing with the diagnosis and treatment of defective eye coordination, binocular vision, and functional amblyopia by non-pharmaceutical and non-surgical methods–)

Strabismus is common. I first learned about it through my sister she had to wear an eye patch and glasses. she had surgery when she was 2 to correct her eyes. and then again when she was 5. although surgery is the best way to go in these cases, sometimes the correction was a little too much. that was he case with my sister. the second time was successful and now she only has to wear glasses because her vision is a little lower than most peoples.

strabismus is caused by one or more of the eye muscles being either too long or too short. in surgery that is corrected by making the same muscles on both eyes shorter. they do both eyes because eyes work together and there has to be balance. it is wrong to assume that strabismus is only about one eye. though it is only visible in one eye.

when you cover the “good” eye and let the “bad” eye fixate the covered eye will take the same position as the “bad” eye had before you covered it. if you take the cover away the eyes will move back into their original position. this is usually caused by the vision in one eye being a little lower than in the other. the brain automatically chooses the good eye over the bad one.

strabismus has to be corrected at a young age because if you do it later in life the brains can’t get used to the new situation.

the surgery itself is very simple. it doesn’t take long and the surgeon only cuts into the eye itself not into any skin. I don’t think Larry has anything to worry about because as far as I know no one has ever died from this particular surgery.

galain on

My youngest cousin has it. She just turned three and has been wearing the eye patch and glasses for the last year.

It’s much better now and when she’s not wearing the glasses, her eyes cross only when she’s tired.

Another girl I know has the same problem with her eyes when she was a kid. She had to wear the eye patch and the glasses for a few years. She’s twenty-four now and her eyes are perfect.

Dannielynn is such a beautiful child.

Jasmine on

My daughter has this same problem, in fact we are going to her optemologist in 2 weeks because most likely she is going to need eye surgery to correct it. She is 20 months old and we have her in glasses right now since she was 14 months but still her eyes go in.

I can totally understand not wanting surgery general anesthesia is very scary especially at a very young age.

Also my husband had the same exact thing when he was 2 he had to have surgery to correct it. He still wears glasses and he’s 30 yrs but he says he can see well without them.

Diaa on

Check out any books by William Bates (now deceased) and the Natural Vision people like Quackenbush and ‘Relearning to See’.

I’m not knowledgeable about dealing with this problem at such a young age but all of these people can guide you in a ‘surgery-less’ direction if you look for it.

Good luck whatever you choose to do.

She’s still cute as a button!

sarah on

my friends 2 kids have this and it is hereditary. they both wear glasses and the youngest has to wear an eye patch also.

Isabell on

I have strabismus and an astigatism. My 3rd child has strabismus in both of his eyes. I noticed it more because I have lived with it all my life. He has his first surgery a couple of months before his 2nd birthday. He goes in for his 2nd surgery just after his 3rd birthday. The doctors tried using the patch with me, but it didn’t work and I have been wearing glasses since age 2.

Phoenix on

I had (have) it in both eyes. I wore a patch as an infant and have worn glasses since 15months old. The surgery was done when I was almost three and it went fine. I can see why he’d be afraid of it, but he’ll eventually have to do it. Although probably not until she’s over 2 and a half.

My eyes still turn in when I’m tired, but it’s not a big deal. But it did horribly affect my vision.

Boston on

I guess this is much more common than I thought! Both my mom and I have strabismus. Her’s was corrected 3 times by surgery and it sort of straightened her eyes after the 3rd try (at 18). You can strengthen the eye muscles, but if one muscle is longer than the other, its quite a bit of work and it’s such a simple out-patient surgery to have especially when you’re young and will never remember it. I had only one surgery at 6 mo, but if my eyes get tired, they will cross. I finally caved and got glasses with prism that shift the images for me and now I don’t get headaches from reading anymore. The only downside to that though is cosmetic, your eyes don’t appear as straight as they could.

If my kids get it too, which is quite probable, I’d definitely have it surgically corrected as soon as possible so they wouldn’t remember the surgery.

Dannielynn is such a charmer!

Jessica on

My 6 year old son has strabismus. He has been wearing glasses since he was 3. His doctor won’t do surgery because with his glasses on his eyes are straight. He said alot of times this can make the crossing worse. I hope and pray that someday it will at least improve. Good Luck!!

adriana on

Dannielynn is beautiful, and I’m glad larry is trying to correct the problem. She is such a cutie pie.

Alice on

My older sister had crossed eyes and 2 surgeries and still has one eye that wanders when she is tired. In my case, my left eye (the weaker one) turned in and so I had surgery on both eyes at age 2 and 3 and did the patching, eye drops, wore a clip-on prism to the front of my left eyeglasses on the left, plus many years of eye therapy at home daily with a centroscope to correct double vision. While I ended up with two straight eyes, the double vision never was able to be corrected. As just like Sarah, CBB’s Senior Coordinator wrote, the double vision caused my brain to disregard the image of my weaker eye. So even though I can see out of both eyes, I always feel like I am only “seeing” with my right stronger eye. Strangely, my identical twin sister had no eye problems like mine.

Natalie on

I had strabismus as a child. I wore an eyepatch for an hour or something every day until eventually my weaker eye (my left) became stronger. Ironically, I am now left-eye dominant.
I have astigmatism and wear glasses to correct it, but this isn’t as a result of the strabismus. I just didn’t win the genetic lottery, as both of my parents have astigmatism, too.

Maggie on

One of my children had crossed eyes that was noticeable at an early age. She had to have drops to do a refraction to determine the severity.She couldn’t talk yet,either. She wore strong glasses before she was 2 and has had to wear them all her life ! She is in her 30’s now and you can’t tell that her eyes were ever crossed ,but she wears contacts in order to see correctly

C on

I have something similar (Esotropia – the eye muscles are too short, rather than too long). I wore patches as an infant and had eye surrgery when I was about 18 months. Only an eye doctor would be able to tell I have this today…

I’m far-sighted in one eye, near-sighted in the other and don’t use my eyes “togehter” (or so I’m told). Sometimes, I think I’m lucky I can see. ๐Ÿ™‚

My parents were told it would be several surgeries, but I only had one.

tara on

my son is only 3months old..and his eye turns in sometimes..after hearing about dannielynn.i should have my son eyes checked to make..sure that..he doesn’t have it either…my eye also goes cross eyed but i can see fine..i have had it when i was 5…

Heather on

Aww. I don’t have any personal stories about this. I’d never heard of it till now. But I hope that they don’t have to have the surgery for the sake of Larry and Dannilynn but even if they do I’m sure she’ll be fine. Its totally understandable that Larry would be worried about his little girl being in a situation like that with everything they’ve been through. He sounds like a fantastic father!

J.M. on

My 2 year old wnephews eye does the same thing but I am not sure what his is diagnosed as. He too had a patch (which he hated) when he was little and now he wears glasses. He’ll have laser eye surgery in the next year to correct the problem. It does not seem to bother him. When he wears his glasses his eyes don’t do it as much but as soon as you take them off his eyes start to shake bc the eye is trying so hard to focus.

My nephew was born premature so we are led to believe that this is where he picked up his eye problems. He already had surgery once while in the hospital as a newborn but his eyes continue to get worse so they feel as though he needs the surgery again to better correct his vision problems.

I really wish Larry and Dannielynn all the best. That poor baby has been through a lot in her short life and I hate to see any more drama with this family. I am sure everyone immediately was going to put the blame on Anna but I am glad he’s made it clear that the doctors don’t feel that she could of caused this. Best of luck to this family!

AnnieO on

Time may be of the essence.

I had strabismus (crossed eye) in my left eye. This was in the late 1950’s and I too had to wear a patch. Back then surgery was a 50/50 chance of correcting it so my mom opted against it. My eye straighten a bit,but not completely and when I was tired became quite noticeable.

When I was 35 I decided on surgery for cosmetic reasons and because by the mid 90’s the surgery had an excellent success rate.

The important thing to note is because my eyes were not corrected early before the brain fully disregarded the image from my crossed eye I do not have binocular vision. This may be a concern for Dannielynn and the eye doctor should be asked about it if her remains crossed. .

Altough my eyes look perfect now, the window of opportunity was closed and I will never see depth or vanishing points like most people. Something I never knew until I had my surgery and until for one fleeting moment during testing for surgery I saw what seeing 3 D was like. No wonder I had to learn the dimensions of my car to park it, my drawings, though good, are flat and I could never see those hidden pictures in those multicolor paintings.

Also crossed eyes is usually genetic.

Elle on

Hi! I just wanted to point out that strabismus can also be a very common side-effect of the genetic abnormality called Williams Syndrome (or Williams-Buren Syndrome), which is caused by a deletion of part of a chromosome. The mental effects of the disorder vary. Children with this genetic abnormality often are afflicted with strabismus (as well as left-eye dominance). They are often small in stature (compared to their family history) and usually have very broad smiles and very full lips compared to the rest of the family. It is a rare genetic anomaly, and one has to request a specific genetic test to diagnose it. Affected children often have a unique & tremendous talent for music and have highly developed verbal skills.

hmm on

I am so glad to see a site that is not trashing this little cutie pie. A friends son had this problem and it was corrected by the patch and glasses he wore for awhile.Does my heart good to see all this support for Dannielynn

Lisa on

My daughter had strabismus. They tried patching the good eye, and also tried glasses, but ultimately, she needed the eye muscle surgery to correct it. This was done a few months shy of her 5th birthday. She’ll be 9 next month and her eyes have been perfect since!

terri on

Dannielynn is getting to be so beautiful!

foni on

i had strabismus as a child and i wore glasses and constantly a patch as a preschooler. when i went to the elementary school i didn’t want to wear any glasses and as a result i couldn’t see straight unless i turned my head to the right side, but when i went to the 5th grade my teacher told my parents that i would have serious problems if i didn’t have the surgery. so i did the surgery in both eyes, it was very simple back in 1983 and it required only a day’s stay in the hospital. since then my strabismus has been fixed and the only eye problem i have is myopia. nowadays i believe that the surgery must be even simpler and no one has to be afraid of anything. and Danielynne is such a beautiful child so what’s the reason to have this problem?

WOW on

Yay a Dannielynn update! I’m so happy, this has made my day ๐Ÿ˜€
She is my fave celebrity baby. She is absolutely gorgeous.

AJ on

My youngest daughter was diagnosed with strabismus when she was 5 months old. I knew from my older children that her eyes should be well focused and not have a left eye that liked to be in the corner, especially noticeable in photos. We patched for about 4 months which caused her to develop amblyopia, the goal of patching. She then had surgery when she was 11 months old and now wears glasses with a 25/20 correction. Her opthomologist indicated that her eyes are nearly equal in acuity and as long as she continues to wear her glasses, she may eventually not need them. I do hope that Larry and little Dannielynn get the same positive results that my daughter experienced. Good luck!

Dorothee (France) on

Carla Bruni’s kid Aurelien has this condition;

Paula on

My daughter had this condition. Her pediatrician noticed a problem at her 2-month checkup and immediately sent us to a pediatric opthamologist. The first steps were to patch the eye, but that did not work. In fact as she got older she would pull the patch off. Finally at 18 months, she had surgery to correct the condition. The surgery went well, she did fine and all is well. Good luck to Larry and Dannielyn.

Kelly on

My 13 year old Niece has this. It came on when she was about 2 1/2 and at a Sesame Street Live show–the family joke is that she was so scared of Big Bird he crossed her eyes. After the patches and drops she had the surgery and had to wear glasses with bifocals for years. Now as a teen she is able to wear bifocal contacts but the hope is that at some point she will not need to wear anything as her eyesight is perfect. The contacts and glasses are just to keep her eyes straight. The surgery is an easy one but they do disconnect your eye to then reattach it tighter.

Sandra on

My daughter has this problem. It started at 14 months. She has had the patch and eye drops. Her dr doesnt believe surgery is the correct way to fix it. She has been wearing glasses since she was 14 months old. While she has the glasses on her eyes dont cross at all.

erin beth on

I was born with strabismus in both eyes, underwent an initial surgery at 18 mos, and wore a patch over the dominant eye as a toddler. This corrected the problem for several years, but as I reached adolescence my condition returned. I underwent another surgery at age 12 and haven’t had any problems since. I do notice though a slight drifting of the weaker eye when I am feeling fatigued.

Kelly H on

I just read about Dannielyn’s Strabismus and I went through this with my son when he was 2 years old. I had a horrible time trying to get him to wear an eye patch. I ended up making a DVD called “The Eye Patch Kids” which he loved and it has helped him and thousands of other kids who are patching. To find more information about the DVD you can go to my website at http://www.bjortandcompany.com. Good luck Dannielyn and I am glad that you were diagnosed early.

Kelly H.

shari on

My two oldest girls have this condition and are both far-sighted. They wear glasses and are now 6 and 8 and on annual check ups. We never had to patch or have surgery (my neighbor’s child did and she is doing well). My oldest is already begging for contacts, but she isn’t able to take care of them I know. This has nothing to do with the eye issue, but I heard that Anna had Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. That is something I have, as well, it is an autoimmune condition and I believe it may have caused Anna’s depression and weight issues. I would check with your ped. on this b/c my girls will be monitored for this condition as they reach puberty, as it runs in families and usually needs to be monitored

Joy on

Dannielyn just melts my heart! She is just too cute!! I think her daddy is doing a great job!

R on

My daughter is 2 and a half and has this, as well as being farsighted. She started wearing glasses around 18 months to help with it, and had surgery to fix the alignment at 23 months. Patching was not an option for us. This condition is hereditary, however we don’t have any other known instances in our family history. I do know that with any other children we may have, we are to have them checked around 12 months… even if we do not notice any crossing.
When she wears glasses her eyes are straight, but they do still look slightly crossed when they are off. The difference is amazing however. I was very, very stressed about the surgery. Anytime anesthesia is involved it is scary, but it was about 45 minutes and all went well. She was ready to roll the following day as if nothing had happened. Let me tell you, there are some TRENDY glasses out there for children. She picked out her own pink plastic frames with little rhinestones and we get compliments left and right. I think it makes wearing the glasses more fun for her.

asm1976 on

I have a friend who had this condition. She just got it surgically corrected a couple years ago at the age of 26. But she’s perfectly fine and it was an outpatient surgery. She’s never been happier and it really helped her self-esteem. Maybe getting surgery on the eye during early childhood doesn’t sound ideal, but it’s definitely something to consider later on–maybe at pre-teen age. That is of course if the patches and glasses don’t fix the problem.

stevie on

There are actually different types of Strabismus,I have one myself.Mine was noticed at about 11 months and had to wear a patch over one eye and glasses with bifocals for years,I have no focus in one eye and see double,mine was caught early so I was lucky,surgery is not always possible if the problem is in the focus as mine is,I have had contact lenses since I was 13 and you would never know I had any issue at all with my eyes unless I either told you or you saw me without contacts/glasses.

Strabismus is genetic,I have had both of my kids checked starting at 6 months old and every 6 months there after until they are 3,it tends to skip around a lot,2 of my cousins also have it and one of their daughters have it,it seems to be more common in girls for some reason.

I’m sure Dannielynn will be fine her father seems to have things under control,it’s great she has been seen by a doctor already,I’m sort of suprised however she is not wearing glasses although maybe she does “off camera”,really it’s not much to panic about,I just feel bad people are using this opportunity to run her mother down once again.

Kim on

I work in the medical field – and it took a nurse that I work with to advise me to get my daughter’s eye looked at – she had strabismus. We tried the patching but it didn’t work. We tried glasses and it helped a little. Finally we had the surgery when she was 18 months old. The doctor warned us her eye would be better – but her vision would never be 20/20. At her last checkup last year she has perfect 20/20 vision and no longer wears glasses (she is 19). I understand Larry’s being leary of hospital’s with his personal experiences – but DanniLynn is a beautiful girl – let her have the surgery Larry – she’ll be fine!

patch kid on

I had it and had to wear a patch and frankly, it stinks. And if you’re in school at the time, it really stinks. I still wear glasses, my eye still turns in on occasion – usually whenever people go to take my picture and a flash goes off – so I wear contacts if I know my picture is going to be taken. I hated it then. I hate it now. The doctors said then and now that there is no point to surgery because it would undo itself within a year.

Poor kid. I hope hers is easier to deal with than mine.

Maura on

I was born with strabismus in my left eye. I wore glasses at 2, but didn’t start patches until later, about age 3 or 4–I think because I was older and wouldn’t just take it off. I only patched at home, not at school, and wore one until I was about 6 or 7. Never needed surgery, and now as an adult, you can’t tell to look at me that my eye was crossed (although when I’m tired, I myself can notice a difference). The vision in my crossed eye is weaker than my non-crossed eye, but it’s nothing bad by any means. I’d say definitely surgery as a last resort, but try the patching first. Either way, it needs correction for aesthetic as well as physical purposes.

Jenny Mink on

My daugher had it too..I never drank or did drugs it is genetics my mom has lazy eye.My daughter did the patch and surgery and glasses at age 3 and she was out of her glasses at 14 years old and is fine..

Jenni on

I have a daughter who had strabismus – we tried the patching – IT DOESN’T WORK. She finally had surgery to correct it. E-mail me, as I have information that would be of assistance, and I’d like to help

Jenni M
Allen, TX

Enith on

My daughter had strabismus, her eyes were crossing: both of them! She went to surgery and she is perfect now! Larry you should go ahead and trust her doctors, let her have the surgery it’s so worth it and the earlier the better! They heal so much faster and will not remember. My baby went into surgery for one hour and I brought her home right away with no patches or ointment for after the surgery, it was amazing but a week later the redness was gone and now she is as beautiful as she can get. Be strong Larry and do it for your baby!


Annoyomus on

Maura- ITA! The fact of the matter is, not all cases of strabismus require surgical correction, and Dannielyn’s may be one of them.

Belicoso on

Obviously I wish this little girl nothing but the best and hope that she is able to develop normally with the aid of this treatment. But doesn’t ANYONE else think it is a bit much to have your toddler daughter on Entertainment Tonight to showcase her disability? That being said, though I had never heard of this disorder I am pleased to see (thanks to the numerous personal stories posted) that it seems very correctable and I think in all likelihood Dannielynn will develop normally.

tara on

dear larry ,
i to had crossed eyes as a child, they were both turned in a pointed at my nose. i had my first surgery at age 2 then another at 3. they were both sum what unsuccessful. I wore patches before and after ever surgery and progress was only mildly better. i went my entire childhood being teased for my eye condition, but had no vision problems what so ever. those who say the glasses helped are those who wore them because of a vision problem. my younger sister, has crossed eyes as well, and she is nearsided and only wore glasses for the vision defect. She wore patches with her glasses to. when she was two she had her first surgery and it was a complete success. she still wears contacts but like i said she has a vision problem. I on the other hand was not rescued from my crossed eyes until i finally went to see the same eye doctor my parents had used for my sister, when i was in my mid- twenties. there is an age gap between my sister and i, and technology is so much diff. now than when i was a child. Dr. Leanord Rich an eye muscle specialist was the man to finally correct my eyes. I had so much scar tissue from the previous surgeries, i had to under go two more surgeries to correct my eyes. But the end result was amazing you cant tell there was anything wrong. I’m not trying to tell you that surgery is her only option, but in my case it was. I had four over the course of 25 years. the double vision is annoying but will go away i went thought it four times at her age she’ll never remember it i did’nt. i only know it exists because of my recent experience. p.s it’s totally genetic, several of the women on my moms side have had it through the past 80 years…..tara

salina on

Demi Moore went through a long time in her early years with a crossed, or lazy eye.
She had surgery to fix it wore glasses for a while.
And you can all see her eyes were gfixed just fine.
I hope all is well for little Dannielyn.
That poor little baby deserves a break in life.
I think (hope)Larry will be a good dad.

karine freitas on

amo vc dannielynn,vc รฉ tudo para mim.

Anna Woosley on

My son Bryan had surgery to correct that. He’s fine now.

Katryna on

My younger cousin had this when she was younger, but she never needed surgery. Glasses prevented whatever form she had.

My part of this that bothers me is that Larry’s kinda exploiting his daughter with all this publicity surrounding this issue. Leave her alone…don’t go to ET to talk about her problems voluntarily! I guess we can look at the positive side: it’s good for awareness to other parents, I suppose.

susan on

Oh my goodness, she is the spitting image of her father in that picture! It sounds like he has thoroughly researched it and is making the best decision for her. Best of luck to them!

tori on

My son had the surgery at 8mos and within a week you would never had known he ever had a problem. He went from being fussy and not very coordinated to crawling and his first word as he looked around was “WOW!” He crawled around saying “WOW!” for about two weeks! That is enough for me to have let everyone know that yes surgery can be scary but SO worth it!

I am glad to hear he is going through with it. I think sometimes the patching and glasses are more traumatic than surgery!

Tricia on

I have nothing but admiration for this guy. His first priority is quite obviously his daughter, and nothing I’ve ever seen him do belies this. If he does go “to the media” from time to time, it seems more like a preemptive strike; he gives enough info to satisfy them, and then they go away and leave his family in peace for a while. Better than having them hound you all the time (the poor Garner-Affleck family comes to mind–they can’t make a move in public without being photographed, it’s ridiculous). And, when a celebrity’s kid has any kind of issue–be it a physical problem or learning disability–going public with the news both takes away the perceived “shame” of it, while providing the rest of us with some very useful information as to how to deal with the issue. They surely aren’t all required to do this, but when they choose to, I can only think it’s for the good.

Way to go, Larry–all the best to you and your beautiful daughter, and here’s to her speedy recovery.

Carole on

My (now 2.5 year old) son had strabismus, which we first noticed when he turned 1. He got glasses at 18 months to hopefully straighten it out (it was affecting both eyes, so a patch would not have been possible), and had the surgery at 26 months when the glasses didn’t do the trick. The difference is astounding. He doesn’t even need the glasses anymore. The only time we ever see his eyes even slightly turn in is when he is focusing on something very very close. But then again, I think most people’s eyes sort of do that too!

In my son’s case, his strabismus was caused by a small degree of albinism. He has nystagmus too, another eye condition, characterized by eyes that flit from side to side, not affecting his vision (since the brain compensates). We had no idea about the albinism because he doesn’t look like the stereotypical person with albinism; he’s strawberry blond haired and dark blue eyed, almost a clone of my husband. It WAS surprising when he was born, because I’m a person of color, and we always expected that any child of ours would end up with my coloring (darker skin, black hair). But because he did look so incredibly like my husband’s family, we shrugged and figured we were wrong. It wasn’t until 18 months later, when a ped opthalmologist finally connected the dots and said that this was a result of albinism passed down from both sides (again, surprising, since you’d think that would have been noticeable in my family history!).

Anyway, this obviously doesn’t apply to Dannielyn, but wanted to mention it here in case it rings true for anyone else putting their experience up.

amelie on

I wish that gorgeous little girl and her family all the best.

Jill from Western Australia on

I was born in 1944…I can remember wearing a horrible pink patch over my right eye because I was told that my left eye was “Lazy”. Later in life I wore “coke-bottle” glasses. To this day I cannot read what I am typing with only my left eye!
I was adopted during the war so I have no records re hereditory…BUT…with the wonderful modern science I would URGE Larry to let Dannielynn have the necessary surgery to correct her eyesight which I am sure will be successfull….don’t let this gorgeous little girl be called “4-eyes” & a Geek” as I was in my youth!

Linda on

Hello all! My son has esotropia and we are in the decision making process of surgery vs no surgery. I can’t tell you how much it means to see posts of people who have had success! All I can find on the internet are horror stories of how the surgery didn’t work – PLEASE CONTINUE TO SHARE YOUR STORIES!! I’d really like another update on little Danielynn!

Jen on

One of our daughter’s has bilateral amblyopia. She saw the number one pediatric Opthomologist in our area at age 5-last year. She said eye patching wouldn’t work for our daughter. Today she is 10 and has been in Vision Thearpy for almost 6 months. She wears glass and for 45 min. in AM she does therpy via computer,with eye patched. Patch stays on for 3 hours. Then in the evening she repeats with the other eye.

We swithched to a new pediatric doctor who after running test knew our daughter need the vitamin supplement DHA.

Our daughter’s vision has greatly improved since first visit to her vision therapist. She was unsure at how well her eyes would responed to therapy. The age time line is before age 10. After 10 the eyes have already trained the brain to see the images it will see for the rest of the childs life.

Our daughter is deaf-blind, not complete deafness or blindness. But there is hope, we have seen our daughter go from not being able to read to now she is on grade K-1 level in reading.

I can not stress enough the importance of getting a good doctor that believes in viatmin supplements. And vision therapy, this helps to not only stregnth the misaligned eye or eyes; but it teaches a child how to proper see to track words.

I’m glad to her your baby is getting the early intervention and the key is to stick with it and she’ll over come this issue.

NashvilleKat on

I’m 39 and have lived with Strabismus my entire life. I am also a moderator for a Yahoo support group called EyesApart. Strabismus can be a very difficult condition to live with both mentally and socially. Studies have shown more than 60 percent of those who suffer from say they would give up then years of their life to have it corrected. Many who suffer from the condition also suffer from acute shyness and sometimes anti-social behavior. Even those of us who are more upbeat about living with this condition have our bad days. Complicating the issue is society’s reaction to the condition. Hollywood routinely makes fun of the condition in movies and television. Crossed eyes are seen as “funny”. Check out the ending of Will Smith’s recent movie “Hancock” or the Mike Myers movie “A View From the Top.” In an episode of Friends, Jennifer Aniston shrugged off a suggestion to date a guy with, “You mean the guy with the lazy eye?” Jeff Foxworthy had a routine about his grandmother and a guy with lazy eyes. In all likelihood these people have no idea how much they hurt those who suffer from this condition. We struggle with our self-esteem as it is, without someone reminding us how different we are for a cheap laugh.

My prayer is that DannieLynn’s condition can be corrected and she never has to deal with the cruelty and jokes. She’s a beautiful little girl – period.

For anyone interested in the EyesApart yahoo group it is found at http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/EyesApart/

tammy on

My son had it and my nephew… nephew was clearly diagnosed and was corrected simply with glasses. My son had it but wasn’t diagnosed until he was 3. His was not very noticeable, so it went un-diagnosed. He wore eye patches and eye drops. He wore glasses every waking moment to try and correct it, but because he didn’t have a vision problem, it didn’t correct it. 1st surgery-came back, 2nd surgery-made it worse-third surgery correct the mis-alignment but the damage was already done. He later wore glasses for astigmatism that developed.
My opinion, get the surgery early to correct before the problem isnโ€™t correctable with surgery or glasses.

Heather on

I was born with this problem too. Early surgery cosmetically corrected the alignment but my brain was unable to see through the affected eye. Patch therapy and also years of wearing glasses didn’t help any. My eye turned again (this time outward) in my late teens and surgery worked well but the eye reverted just months later and over the next 11 years started to vear upward as well. Fortunately the upward slant isn’t severe but it is noticeable. I’m trying botox at the moment as it’s had positive reviews, although just like surgery offers only a cosmetic and temporary solution.