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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Duane syndrome

Other Names for this Disease
  • DRS
  • Duane anomaly
  • Duane retraction syndrome
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Your Question

I have isolated Duane retraction syndrome. My left has retracted inward towards the nose and it appears smaller than the right. The last few years it really bothers me. I was wondering if there is anything I could do about it. I usually close my big eye a little bit so that they can appear even, but recently I noticed my left eye closing even more. This problem only increases with my left eye getting smaller over the years and it makes a really bad image of my face. If there is anything you can tell me that helps my condition I would be grateful.

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

How might Duane syndrome be treated?

The treatment of Duane syndrome may involve surgery. The goal of surgery is to eliminate or improve head turn, eliminate or reduce significant misalignment of the eyes, reduce severe retraction (when they eyeball pulls into the socket as the eye moves toward the nose), and improve upshoots and downshoots (when the eye deviates upward or downward with certain eye movements). No specific surgical technique has been completely successful in eliminating the abnormal eye movements. However, some procedures, used either alone or in combination, may be successful in improving or eliminating head turns and misalignment of the eyes. The choice of procedure varies among affected individuals. The success rate for surgery in eliminating an abnormal head position is estimated to be 79-100%.[1]

The management of Duane syndrome without surgery may include:[1]
  • special seating in school to accommodate a child's head turn
  • special rear-view mirrors to help during driving
  • a prism placed on the individual's glasses to correct for the face turn (though this is not commonly used)
  • vision therapy to treat secondary convergence insufficiency (inability of the eyes to turn towards each other or sustain this position)

More detailed information about the treatment of Duane syndrome is available on Medscape Reference's Web site and can be viewed here. You may need to register to view this information, but registration is free.

Last updated: 2/27/2013