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Strabismus in the Public Eye: Anna Nicole Smith’s Daughter and Her Eye Condition

Anna Nicole Smith’s Daughter Dannielynn and Strabismus: Is There a Disability? Discover the Story of Dannielynn’s Eye condition.

Tinseltown/Shutterstock

Ever since she was a child, Dannielynn Birkhead has been in the public eye. Photographs of her can be found online from when she was a baby up through 2023.

Her eye has interested the public for just as long. Many people have wondered if Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter has a disability and raised the question, “Is Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter disabled?” but her eye positioning is actually due to strabismus.

Eye patches can help children with strabismus. Credit: Shutterstock/Marinesea.

What is Strabismus?

Strabismus is a condition where a person’s eyes don’t align: one eye turns inward (esotropia), outward (exotropia), upward (hypertropia), or downward (hypotropia). It can be caused by genetic or environmental factors. These include poor development of eye coordination or a significant difference in optical prescription between the two eyes. Strabismus is typically treatable enough not to disable those afflicted with it and is thus not typically labeled a disability. 

Dannielynn’s Strabismus

Treatment can include eyeglasses and eye patches, the latter of which Larry Birkhead, Dannielynn’s father, said he got her to wear when she was young. Other treatment options include vision therapy and eye surgery. 

Birkhead said that he did not want Dannielynn to have surgery unless it was absolutely necessary due to his traumatic memories of hospitals with the deaths of Anna Nicole Smith and her son, Dannielynn’s half-brother, shortly after Dannielynn was born.

Unfortunately, the severity of Danneilynn’s strabismus meant that she had to undergo surgery when she was young, but luckily it turned out well and helped her condition.

As pictures of Dannielynn circulated the media and people noticed her strabismus, questions arose surrounding her mother’s substance use during pregnancy. Birkhead claims that multiple doctors said it was most likely a genetic defect, though.

Dannielynn Now

More recently, Dannielynn’s appearance has garnered public attention because of her striking similarity to her late mother. In 2013, she was featured in a Guess Kids campaign, which drew comparisons to her mother’s previous work as a model for Guess in the 1990s.

As she was born in September 2006, Dannielynn is now 17. She is photographed most years at the Kentucky Derby with her father, which is where Birkhead originally met Smith. They also attend concerts together, such as Janet Jackson and Duran Duran, according to Birkhead’s Instagram account. Otherwise, Birkhead has said that she leads a regular teenage life. Her strabismus does not appear to affect her daily life.

Written By

Hi, I'm Caroline Heath, and I write for the News section of Trill. I grew up in New York City, and I currently go to the University of St Andrews in St Andrews, Scotland. I am particularly interested in sharing stories related to education, literature, and writing/language.

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