When it comes to your child’s eyes, high-quality care is of the utmost importance. That’s because many vision problems and eye diseases can be corrected if detected and treated early. Pediatric eye problems are often very different from adult eye diseases and pediatric ophthalmologists (eye doctors who are also surgeons) are specially trained to manage and treat children's eye conditions.
- amblyopia (lazy eye: with one weak eye and one strong one)
- blocked tear ducts and defects (from the ducts not forming correctly)
- glaucoma (damage to the optic nerve from a build-up of pressure in the eye)
- cataract (a clouding of the eye’s lens)
- eye injuries
- ptosis (drooping eyelid)
- refractive errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism)
- retinopathy of prematurity (a disease that occurs in premature babies and causes abnormal blood vessels to grow in the retina)
- retinoblastoma (a type of tumor involving the retina)
- retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and other retinal dystrophies (diseases that cause damage to the retina
- strabismus (wandering eye or “cross eyes”)
Children whose parents or siblings have eye conditions, such as strabismus or amblyopia, are more likely to have these eye disorders themselves, even if they don't have obvious signs of pediatric eye problems.
If your child has a certain medical condition such as diabetes, or a genetic disease like neurofibromatosis, it's a good idea to have regular pediatric eye exams with a pediatric ophthalmologist.
Early signs of serious pediatric eye problems, which should be evaluated by a doctor, include:
- poor vision
- eye pain
- changes in the shape or size of an eye
- crossed or wandering eyes
- abnormal appearance of the pupil of one or both eyes
Genetic conditions can often cause eye problems in children. In these cases, our pediatric ophthalmologists collaborate with multi-disciplinary Nemours teams who treat children with genetic syndromes.
If your child is healthy and has no known risk factors for pediatric eye problems, then age-appropriate screening examinations with your primary care provider should be sufficient. If further evaluations are indicated, your child can be referred to our ophthalmologists as needed.
From Nemours' KidsHealth
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