Hypertelorism (widely-spaced eyes)

Understanding eye related symptoms and features

Symptoms may affect multiple parts of the body. Understanding which part of the body a symptom affects, can help us to better understand the potential underlying causes of a symptom, including a rare disease or genetic syndrome.

The eye is a part of the ocular and vision systems of the body. The ocular system includes the eye and its central vision system (cornea, lens, eye fluids), all of the parts which make vision possible.

Symptoms affecting the eyes may be congenital, present at birth, or they may develop later in life. Sometimes surgery may be an option to correct them.

Symptoms relating to the eyes may affect their structure and function including their ability to see, other times they may simply affect the shape or appearance of the eye without any impact on vision.

What is Hypertelorism (widely-spaced eyes)?

Hypertelorism (widely-spaced eyes) is defined by a larger distance than usual, between the eyes. Specifically this means a larger than average distance between the inner eye corners and between the pupils. As the fetus develops in utero the eyes move closer together, but anything that interferes with this process of development can cause hypertelorism. The most common causes include a mass pushing the eyes apart, a cleft in the bone between the eyes or a genetic syndrome. Usually widely-spaced eyes as a symptom, do not cause vision loss or affect the vision of an affected individual.

What should I do next?

In some instances widely-spaced eyes may be one of the features of a rare disease or genetic syndrome. In this case fast, targeted genetic analysis can give you a more accurate diagnosis.

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