Update: Strabismus and Dannielynn Birkhead: Steps toward correction
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].
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?