What is it?

Duane syndrome is an eye movement disorder present at birth characterized by horizontal eye movement limitation: a limited ability to move the eye inward toward the nose, outward toward the ear, or in both directions. When the affected eye(s) moves inward toward the nose, the eyeball pulls in, and the eye-opening (palpebral fissure) narrows. When the eye attempts to look inward in some patients, it moves upward (upshoot) or downward (down shoot).

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- DR syndrome
- Eye retraction syndrome

Signs & symptoms

Signs and symptoms of Duane's syndrome may include:
- Strabismus: when the eyes may be misaligned and point in different directions some or all of the time
- An abnormal head posture or head turn to keep the eyes straight
- Amblyopia: reduced vision in the affected eye
- Eyelid narrowing: the affected eye may appear smaller than the other eye
- With specific eye movements, the eye may occasionally deviate upward or downward


The diagnosis of Duane Retraction Syndrome is primarily clinical. Clinical features may include: Strabismus, Limitation of Abduction, Induced Ptosis on Adduction, Poor Binocular Vision, Amblyopia, and Compensatory Head Turn to Avoid Diplopia.


Many people with Duane syndrome don't have any symptoms interfering with their day-to-day lives. There is no apparent misalignment of the eyes, and patients may be able to compensate for their lost or reduced eye movement with just a slight head turn. These people may need nothing more than long-term monitoring by their eye doctor.
Children with severe symptoms may need eye muscle surgery. However, no surgery can fix the improperly developed cranial nerve causing the limited motion in the eye muscle. Doctors can use surgery to reposition the other eye muscles to work better and keep the eyes in better alignment.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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