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Eye Library / Risk Evaluations / Childhood Eye Disease Signs

Most children have healthy, normal eyes, but a few are born with serious eye diseases or disorders, some of which may not be obvious. If your child's eyes look like any of those illustrated below, call your physician at the suggested time.


White pupil

May indicate cataract, tumor, inflammation, or detached retina.

Lump, swelling or drooping of lid

May be an inflammation, which is an emergency if it happens suddenly and the lid is red and hot. Also may indicate muscle weakness or tumor causing blockage of vision.

Large cornea

This may be a sign of glaucoma in both newborn and infant, especially when the child's eye waters and avoids light.


Tearing, discharge or redness

A sign of infection or tear duct blockage.

Eye turns inward or outward

Eye(s) misaligned (turned in or out) or "lazy eye". Eye turned in or out might lead to loss of vision.

"Dancing Eyes"

Eyes jiggle or rotate; baby does not look at you. A sign of disease of the nervous system anywhere between the eyes and the brain.

Next Visit

Head tilted

To one shoulder, forward (chin down) or to one side. Child may be avoiding double or blurred vision.

Pupil defect

Part of the iris is missing. May be the outward sign of a defect of the inside of the eye.

Unequal pupils

One pupil larger. May be a sign of nerve damage or tumor which is visible in one eye.