Abnormal eye movements or suspected loss of vision

Abnormal eye movements or suspected loss of vision


  • Visual abnormalities are common in babies and young children – most are not caused by a brain tumour.
  • The most common visual abnormality in babies and young children is a squint, in which the two eyes do not look in the same direction. Squints are very rarely caused by a brain tumour, but do require assessment by an eye specialist when first noted.
  • Abnormal appearance or movements of the eye are an important symptom to look out for – for example, if one eye is bulging, or if the eyes appear wobbly, quivering or flicking.

When looking for signs of a brain tumour in babies and young children, you should also be aware of suspected loss of vision. Various changes in bahviour may indicate loss of vision including:

  • Reduced awareness of people or toys in front of them or to the sides.
  • Reduced ability to focus on people and/or to follow moving objects with their eyes.
  • Increased stumbling or bumping into things as they move around.
  • Being clingy in unfamiliar surroundings.
  • Choosing to sit closer to the television to watch it.
  • Nursery or school staff noticing changes during class activities that involve visual signals or information e.g. reading ability.

If you're concerned about their symptoms, it's best to get them checked out by your GP or book an eye check at a local optician. Further information about eye problems and eye health can be found at NHS Choices.

Feeling Worried?

Are the symptoms exhibited persistent e.g. lasting more than two weeks?


Arrange an appointment with your GP as soon as possible


Request an immediate consultant referral as soon as possible

If the symptoms or signs are sudden onset or severe, either take them to the emergency department or call 999.