Certain cranial nerves (3, 4, and 6) control eye movement and function. Palsy means weakness or lack of function, and palsies in these cranial nerves cause problems with eye function.
Some causes of cranial nerve palsies affecting the eyes include:
Symptoms of cranial nerve palsies can differ depending on the particular nerve that is affected. You or your child’s pediatrician may see symptoms like the following:
You or your child’s pediatrician may notice problems with your child’s eye alignment or movement. A routine eye exam and a more thorough exam by a pediatric ophthalmologist will help pinpoint the condition.
At Children’s National, we may recommend further testing to find out what is causing the cranial nerve palsies, as follows:
Cranial nerve palsies often resolve themselves over a few months. If they do not, our focus is to treat the symptoms as well as the underlying cause. At Children’s National, our treatment options include:
Our specialized pediatric ophthalmologists are experts at recognizing and treating complex eye conditions in infants and children.
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Carmen Arroyo manages clinical operations for the Cardiology, Nephrology, and Pulmonary Medicine divisions at Children’s Sheikh Zayed Campus for Advanced Children’s Medicine in Washington, DC.
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