Hypertropia is a type of strabismus, also known as misalignment of the eyes. Hypertropia happens when either eye drifts or looks upward.
Infants' eyes usually align by the age of 2 to 3 months, even if the eyes seem to wander in newborns. Hypertropia that continues or develops after that age can cause:
The most common cause of hypertropia is palsy (weakness) in one of the cranial nerves, the third or fourth nerve. Hypertropia may also co-exist with infantile strabismus, esotropia or exotropia. Other causes of hypertropia include problems that may be congenital (present at birth) or develop later
Hypertropia may be intermittent (happening occasionally) or constant, and the symptoms may be barely noticeable. The most common symptoms are:
You or your child's pediatrician may notice that your child's eyes or head are not straight.
At Children's National, we emphasize the need for a pediatrician's vision and ocular alignment screening at regular well-baby visits. When in doubt, your pediatrician will refer your child to an ophthalmologist for a comprehensive eye evaluation. If there is family history of pediatric eye diseases, we recommend an early comprehensive eye examination.
Your child's pediatrician may recommend further testing as follows:
Treatment for hypertropia aims to ensure proper vision in both eyes and aligning the eyes. At Children's National, our treatment options include:
Learn more about our Ophthalmology program at Children's National.
Our specialized pediatric ophthalmologists are experts at recognizing and treating complex eye conditions in infants and children.
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Upon initial evaluation, our pediatric ophthalmologists determine if the child requires the highly specialized services of the team. If so, the child is treated for as long as his/her needs warrant.
Learn more about the causes, symptoms and treatments for esotropia and exotropia, misalignment of the eyes.