Many pediatric vision problems and eye diseases can be corrected if detected and treated early. When it comes to your child’s eyes, high-quality pediatric ophthalmology care is of the utmost importance. 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.
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A to Z: Cellulitis, Orbital
A to Z: Cellulitis, Orbital
More to Know
The condition is often caused by bacteria that spread from a sinus infection or bacteria that enter through direct trauma to the eye.
People with orbital cellulitis may experience painful swelling and discoloration of the eyelids, poor vision, eye pain, difficulty moving the eye, and fever. It's important to see a doctor as soon as symptoms appear because the condition progresses quickly and can cause serious complications such as blindness, meningitis, and blood or brain infections.
People with orbital cellulitis are admitted to the hospital for treatment so doctors can run diagnostic tests, give antibiotics through a vein, and monitor patients closely. In some cases surgery is necessary to drain fluid from the infected area and relieve pressure. A full recovery can be expected if treatment starts quickly.
Keep in Mind
You can help prevent orbital cellulitis by making sure you and your family members get vaccinated to help prevent certain infections and treat all infections at their earliest onset. See your doctor immediately if there is eye swelling, eye pain, and fever.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
Date reviewed: April 28, 2017