-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Children with a condition
called strabismus, in which their eyes aren't straight or don't
line up with each other, may be less likely to be invited to
birthday parties than other children, researchers have found.
Swiss researchers digitally altered photographs of six children
from six identical twin pairs to create inward and outward types of
strabismus. They asked 118 children, aged 3 to 12 years, to look at
these altered photos as well as the unaltered pictures of the
children with normally aligned eyes and select whom they would
invite to their birthday party.
Children under 6 years of age didn't have any preference between
the photos of the kids with strabismus or normally aligned eyes.
But children 6 and older were much less likely to select the photos
of the children with strabismus, Dr. Daniel Mojon, of the
department of strabismology and neuro-ophthalmology at
Kantonsspital in St. Gallen, Switzerland, and colleagues found.
There were 48 children aged 6 to 8 in the study, and among that
group 18 did not select any child with a strabismus, 17 selected
this type of child once, 11 did so twice and two did so three
times, according to the report published online Aug. 18 in the
British Journal of Ophthalmology.
The researchers found that among the 31 children in the 4- to
6-year age group, only one did not select a child with strabismus,
21 selected a child with strabismus once or twice, and nine
selected a child with strabismus three or four times.
"Our results show that schoolchildren with strabismus seem less likely to be accepted by their peers, so corrective surgery for strabismus should be performed before the age of 6 years, when negative social implications may arise," Mojon and colleagues concluded.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology has more about
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