Pediatric Eye Care
The ophthalmologists at Lindenhurst Eye Physicians & Surgeons specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of all pediatric eye conditions. Children of all ages can be examined by the pediatric ophthalmologist. Even small infants can be examined if problems are suspected. Most serious eye conditions are identified in the preschool years. The earlier these conditions are caught, the better the outcome is likely to be during treatment.
Pediatric Eye Problems And Their Treatment
Watering of the eyes in the early months of life
The most common cause of watering in the first six months is due to dacryostenosis, which is caused by obstruction of the normal passage of tears from the eye into the nose, which can be treated with antibiotic drops on ophthalmologist’s advice. If required, probing can be done to dilate the tear duct (opening of the passage ) and clear out any blockage in this passage (nasolacrimal ) by irrigating the passage with antibiotic solutions.
Inflammation of the surface of the eye is known as conjunctivitis. In children it can be due to bacterial or viral infection. It can be treated with antibiotic drops. If the cause is allergy, it can be treated with anti-allergy drops combined with antibiotic and short-term use of topical steroid if required. If required, oral (antihistamine) syrups/tablets may be given. Avoiding exposure to those things one is allergic to may prevent allergic conjunctivitis.
It is an infection of the eyelash hair follicle (root). It causes pain and swelling of the eyelids. It is treated with oral medications (antibiotics) and hot compresses over the effected eyelids. It usually clears in 2-3 days.
It is an infected swelling (cyst) situated within the eyelids. It may be tender or can be painless. It may reduce in size by using hot compresses and eyelid massage. However surgical treatment is required in some cases. It can be prevented by maintaining good cleanliness of the eyelids and thorough make-up removal.
If a child is playing with any sharp instrument like pencils, pen, knife, bow & arrows, etc., common sense requires that they be strictly supervised by a responsible adult. These dangerous objects can severely injure the eyes as they can cause perforation of the eye and severe loss of vision. These injuries require an urgent ophthalmic evaluation, as emergency surgery is sometimes necessary.
Amblyopia is poor vision in an eye that did not develop normal sight during early childhood. It is sometimes called "lazy eye.” The eye with poorer vision is called amblyopic. Usually, only one eye is affected. The condition is common, affecting approximately 4 out of every 100 people. Amblyopia can be corrected only if treated during infancy or early childhood. Parents must be alert to this visual threat if their child is to see properly as an adult. It is recommended that all children have their vision checked by their family physician, pediatrician, or ophthalmologist at or before age three. If there is a family history of crossed eyes, childhood cataracts or other serious eye disease, vision can be checked even earlier.
Amblyopia is caused by any condition that prevents normal use of the eyes and visual development. There are three major caused of amblyopia:
Amblyopia occurs most commonly with misaligned eyes such as crossed eyes. The crossed eye "turns off" to avoid double vision, becomes lazy or amblyopic, and the child prefers the better eye.
Strabismus, often referred to as "crossed eyes," is the term used to describe any condition in which the eyes are not straight - whether one eye turns or wanders in or out, or up or down. Strabismus may be present all the time, or it may only appear when a child is tired, ill, or concentrating on nearby objects. It may start at birth, or it may not show up until later in childhood or even in adult life. If the condition is present beyond 4 months of age, prompt medical attention by a pediatric ophthalmologist is required.
Fortunately, it is never too early to have a child's eyes examined thoroughly by an eye doctor. Even infants can be tested successfully, but if you wait until your child enters school, it may be too late to correct strabismus or amblyopia. Remember, because most cases of strabismus and amblyopia can be treated successfully if diagnosed early!
Congenital cataract is a cloudy lens, or cataract a baby is born with. German measles (viral infection), among other diseases, can cause it if the virus affects the mother during pregnancy. It needs urgent ophthalmic evaluation and can be treated surgically if required.