Is crossing your eyes harmful?

Young man rubbing eyes holding glassesImage by SG SHOT via Shutterstock

Children may do goofy things like crossing their eyes to get a rise out of peers and family members. You may have heard the warning that crossing your eyes for an extended period could lead to them staying in that position forever. But is crossing your eyes actually harmful? 

Six muscles move your eyes. Contraction of these muscles moves your eyes up, down, and side to side. Using these muscles to cross your eyes is a form of exercise and is not harmful. The experience of fatigue and perhaps headache might be interpreted by the human mind as indications of harm.  Perhaps that’s what gave rise to the myth that crossing your eyes is harmful.  

Once you uncross your eyes and give them time to rest, they will feel normal as the fatigue resolves. So, the next time you see a kid crossing their eyes for some laughs, there is no need to worry.,t%20have%20any%20lasting%20effect. 

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