Pediatric Eye Care- The defining decade for a child’s life
A child’s first 10 years of life are the most crucial for the development of their visual system. Due to the rapid vision development taking place during childhood, it is very important to detect and treat any vision problems as early as possible. If left untreated, childhood vision impediments can lead to developmental problems, learning disabilities, and a lifetime of poor vision. Our skilled pediatric eye doctors specialize in the early detection and treatment of potentially serious vision impediments as well as common vision problems.
Strabismus is when the eyes are misaligned. 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 is started with non-surgical methods and sometimes requires surgical intervention for optimal outcomes. Proper treatment improves quality of vision, development, appearance, and social well-being.
Facing the Facts
- 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 as a result of 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 also causes double vision and difficulties with daily activities.
- Amblyopia is a condition of reduced vision in one eye that most often develops before the age of 6.
- It can be caused by a variety of underlying abnormalities including strabismus, undiagnosed need for glasses, eye lid abnormalities, cataracts, corneal abnormalities, and retinal abnormalities.
- The condition can worsen and lead to permanent vision loss in the amblyopia-affected eye.
- Vision loss happens due to the child’s brain failing to develop the neurologic pathways required for vision.
- Treatment options include glasses, patching, Atropine drops, and surgery.
- Cataracts are a common ailment during the geriatric years, 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 in order to rehabilitate the visual abilities.
- Glaucoma is common for adults, but children and babies also suffer from this vision-threatening ailment.
- Glaucoma can be something babies are born with, but also can be caused by injuries or untreated eye disorders.
- Glaucoma may not have symptoms visible to the parents.
- It 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
- This is common for newborns.
- Most newborns have resolution of the blockage within the first 3 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.
Seeing the Glass Half Full
Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to obtaining the best possible outcomes. Treatment at a young age is optimal, however these disorders can be treated at any age. Our specialists can help you explore your options for treatment.