Maysa's Blog

Our journey through plagiocephaly and brachycephaly

Exotropia, Strabismus, and Plagiocephaly

Posted by mymaysa on September 27, 2010

We often read on plagio boards how plagiocephaly and brachycephaly can affect vision among other things. Has anyone noticed such problems in their child? While Maysa’s eye doctor doesn’t seem too alarmed yet, I can’t help but think that her exotropia might in some way be linked to her plagio/brachy history.

For those of you who don’t know what exotropia is, it is a form of strabismus where one or both eyes tend to look outward away from the nose. Maysa does that on occasion, if she is looking away, day dreaming, or thinking about something. Maysa is not one to look at you in the eye if she is talking to you. She will get your attention and once she has it will start talking to you without looking at you. Often, when she does that, she will show signs of exotropia.

I never gave it too much thought. We all day dream, right? And I often see people with the same look on their face (especially during long meetings or while waiting in a waiting room…). However, her daycare provider brought it up to my attention, so I took her to the eye doctor for a consult.

He was able to see what I see and said that she seems to do it more with her left eye over her right one, but that if prompted to, she could easily refocus on one object. He didn’t see any weak nerve or reduced vision. Heck! She could identify pictures that I couldn’t during the examination. He let us go without any treatment (yet) but wants to see her in another 3 or 4 months.

There seems to be some studies out there that link plagiocephaly to strabismus. Anyone out here with a child who is showing signs of it? One I read says that since by 6 months most of babies vision is developed, skull malformation at that age could be a contributor to strabismus.

There will be a follow-up on this one…


11 Responses to “Exotropia, Strabismus, and Plagiocephaly”

  1. Jennifer said

    I’ve never heard of this before, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was plagio/brachy related. I hope her next appointment goes well and thanks for the update.

    BTW, if you saw our blog recently we had a little boy staying with us a few days and we noticed how “normal” his head was compared to Sebastian’s. As happy as I am with his results, his head did seem a bit wider than this boy’s. Just an observation I thought I’d share.

  2. mymaysa said


    I know exactly what you mean. I see a lot of kids with “normal” heads around. A lot. Then I see kids with bad hair cuts. I see others who are going through a bad hair day. I also see a few more with plagio and brachy. I recently saw a 5 year old with severe brachy. The back of his head is completely flat from top to bottom, yet, he has no sloping and no extra width above the ears. Weird. Just this weekend, Soraya mentioned to me how Maysa’s face was round compared to hers which is oval. This is the first time she ever makes such a comment like that about her. I hope Maysa only sees beauty in the way she looks. Just like you probably feel for Sebastian, Maysa’s head looks fine and doesn’t stand out as misshapen anymore, but to us who have studied heads so much, we still see where things went wrong…

    I get upset at all the pediatricians all over again for the way they tend to brush it off…

    I’ve been checking on your blog and happy to hear that everything is going well with the new pregnancy. You look fabulous.


  3. Jennifer said

    I so know what you mean about all the different heads. I check them all out and it’s hard not to compare. At least Sebastian’s isn’t flat and nobody would even notice he had an issue. I do see lots of the misshapen heads that could have used a band. It’s so sad that it’s way too late for them. The slight wideness is just who he is I guess and he’s still so cute 🙂 I go back next month to have him scanned to compare the results from when he was released. I can’t wait to see the results. I’ll post as soon as they are in!

    Thanks for your nice words 🙂 Can’t wait to meet this baby. Already getting ready for keeping her head nice and round, lol.


  4. Melanie said

    Hi – I was just doing a google search on this topic and your site came up. I can’t believe it, but Natalie appears to be going through the same thing. It appears that her left eye sometimes wanders when she is tired.

    I have an appointment with the pediatrician to discuss this and a referral on Monday.

  5. mymaysa said

    Hi Melanie,

    I saw your message on the Older Plagio Group. It caught my eye. I read here and there that it can be related to plagio, but if Natalie is showing similar signs, then there might be more to it. Let me know how her appointment go. Her pediatrician didn’t see anything wrong with her eyes, but the specialist was able to reproduce it and saw exactly what I was talking about.


  6. Sasha said

    Found you via google search for Exotropia….. my son is 7 and was diagnosed this week and will be having surgery next. I hadn’t even thought of the connection, but he has plagio, which was missed by our doc, so went untreated…. his ears are quite uneven.

    I will mention to our ped opthamologist next week and see if he has seen a connection between the two.

    Your daughter is just beautiful by the way!

  7. mymaysa said

    Thank you for your nice comment. I hope the surgery goes well. It would also be nice if you kept me updated.

  8. I wasn’t even aware that vision was a factor during plagiocephaly. So that’s new to me… However now that you mention it. It would explain a few things. Thank you for posting! I’ll be sure to ask about it the next time I meet with my Orthotist.

  9. Adriana Espinoza said

    Yes everything that you mentioned is happening to my baby I need help!!! I know it’s been 7 long years and I hope you read my message I would like an update on your child please

  10. mymaysa said

    I just emailed you.

  11. Melanie Watson said

    I can’t say if they are connected, but Natalie has Extropia. It was treated via patching for many years. Then, we she hit about age 9, we switched eye doctors. This one felt that, even though her goes don’t always track, she can always pull them together when made aware. The doctor feels that her muscles are strong. Her vision and depth perception is perfect so we just check in a couple of times a year.

    On another note, Natalie competes in gymnastics and has her hair in a bun at every practice and meet. Her head looks normal enough.

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