Pediatric Eye Care – The defining decade for a child’s life
Strabismus is the misalignment of the eyes. It can greatly affect visual ability as well as development and social confidence. Strabismus often causes permanent damage to visual acuity, depth perception, and has a large effect on physical appearance. Strabismus treatment often begins with non-surgical methods and may require surgical intervention for optimal outcomes. Proper treatment improves quality of vision, development, appearance, and social well-being.
Facts About Strabismus
- An estimated 4% of the U.S. population has Strabismus.
- If undiagnosed and untreated in children, these disorders often lead to permanently diminished vision in one eye that is not treatable with glasses.
- Strabismus can also lead to a lack of depth perception and delays in motor skills and development.
- Strabismus also affects adults. It often persists after childhood strabismus and new cases develop due to injury, trauma, stroke, and other systemic or neurologic illnesses. Adult strabismus can cause a wide array of significant social difficulties. Studies show problems ranging from self-esteem to lack of employment.
- Adult strabismus may also cause double vision and difficulties with daily activities.
Early diagnosis and treatment is essential to obtaining the best possible outcomes. While treatment at a young age is optimal, these disorders can be treated at any age.
What is Amblyopia?
- One of the most serious and common eye disorders affecting children
- Vision loss is a neurologic deficit due to abnormal development
- Most often, it develops before the age of six and can be caused by a variety of abnormalities such as strabismus or undiagnosed need for glasses
- Early detection and treatment gives a child the best chance of reversing and correcting the neurologic deficit that causes the diminished vision
- The condition can worsen and lead to permanent vision loss in the amblyopia-affected eye
- Treatment options include glasses, patching, Atropine drops, and surgery
- Cataracts are a common ailment for older adults, but children and babies also suffer from cataracts though this is much less common.
- When babies are born with cataracts they are referred to as Congenital Cataracts.
- It is estimated that 0.4% of newborns suffer from congenital cataracts.
- Early treatment is essential to obtaining the best outcome possible.
- Surgery is required for some cataracts to rehabilitate the visual abilities.
- Glaucoma is common for adults, but children and babies can also suffer from this vision-threatening ailment.
- Babies can be born with glaucoma, but it can also be caused by injuries or untreated eye disorders.
- Glaucoma may not have symptoms visible to the parents.
- Glaucoma will sometimes cause cloudy appearance of the cornea (the normally clear outer part of the eye).
- The affected eye might become larger than the other, and the child might experience light sensitivity, increased tearing, and excessive blinking.
- Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to saving the vision.
- Treatment options include medications or glaucoma surgery.
Blocked Tear Ducts
- Common for newborns.
- Most newborns have resolution of the blockage within the first three months of life.
- When the blockage does not resolve, surgical intervention is sometimes needed to restore proper drainage of the tears.
- Blockage of the tear drainage leads to stagnation of the lacrimal sac causing mucous discharge that is very irritating.
- The white parts of the eyes and the area around them may appear red due to inflammation.
- This can be caused by bacterial or viral infections, allergies, systemic inflammation, or blocked tear ducts.
- Pink eye may require special treatment.