ZocdocAnswersWhat does eye-rolling indicate in infants?

Question

What does eye-rolling indicate in infants?

I am the mother of a 10 month old baby girl, and I'm worried about her. Several times a day, she does this thing where her eyes roll upwards for a few seconds? then she goes back to normal. I've never heard of this happening to infants. What is causing it?

Answer

This symptom could be concerning, depending on the context. In very young babies, there is often poor eye muscle control and eyes can cross and roll up with little warning. However, by 10 months a baby will have learned how to control her eye muscles, so it is less likely to be normal at that age. Therefore, this symptom should be investigated by a doctor as soon as possible - unless it is clear that your child is doing this on purpose (i.e., while playing). However, if there is any indication that she 'spaces out' when this happens or loses consciousness, this could be a sign of a seizure other other neurological problem. Other worrisome signs would include regressions in her behavior (such as previously creeping around with furniture but now only able to crawl), problems with her growth, any weakness (such as dragging a leg), or lethargy. The best first step would be to schedule a visit with your daughter's pediatrician as soon as possible. The pediatrician will perform a thorough physical examination to uncover any concerning findings. If something is found, you may need a referral to a neurologist, as well as various imaging studies and blood tests.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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