Oftentimes as parents we notice that there is something wrong with our child – it’s either their mood or something physical. And we do everything we can to find out what it is and take appropriate measures to make it better. At the same time, they are children, something is going on all the time and it is hard to take everything seriously at times. However, when it comes to your child’s eye health it is hugely important to take everything seriously.
Many conditions are only curable when detected and treated at an early age. Your child should regularly visit a pediatric eye doctor from an age as early as 3 years old. However, if you have any suspicions, seek a pediatric ophthalmologist’s help immediately.
Some eye and vision problems require medical assistance, and some can be effectively treated at home. To help you find out more, we have made a handy list of 5 most commonly experienced eye and vision problems in children.
1. Refractive error
According to Prevent Blindness, refractive error occurs when the eye struggles to properly focus light on the retina, which can lead to blurry vision and other vision problems. In general, this is caused by an irregularity in the shape of the eyeball in a particular area. Refractive error is an umbrella term for 4 specific conditions:
- Myopia (nearsightedness)
- Hyperopia (farsightedness)
If you suspect that your child is suffering from refractive error, you must contact our pediatric eye doctor immediately for a complete eye exam.
We will elaborate on each refractive error condition in our next article.
Strabismus is also known as being cross-eyed. This means that the eye muscles do not work properly together – one eye can be turned inward, outward, upward or downward. However, the misalignment is not always present, it may come and go, especially in young children. In young children, the strabismus can change as often as from day-to-day, if not even throughout the day.
Healthychildren.com explains that the extent of treatment required depends on the cause of the misalignment. And the reason for the rolling of the eyes might not be a muscle problem. Therefore, this condition requires the examination of a children’s eye doctor.
Contacting our pediatric ophthalmologist, Dr. Lambert, is your best port of call as she is a board certified strabismus surgeon – an expert in the field of strabismus!
3. Lazy eye (amblyopia)
Amblyopia refers to reduced vision in one eye that didn’t receive enough use throughout the early childhood. Oftentimes, it is either caused by misalignment of the eyes, such as strabismus, or the brain not being able to acknowledge images to the same extent in the two eyes i.e. poor focus in the amblyopic eye. This condition means that one eye lacks in development as the other eye continuously strengthens. Lazyeye.org estimate that 3% of children under the age of six suffer from some type of amblyopia.
If this condition is neglected or not treated properly then the weaker eye might become completely useless! This condition requires professional pediatric ophthalmologist’s assistance. It is not correctable with glasses or lenses.
4. Swollen eyelids (blepharitis)
Also called, “eyelid inflammation”, blepharitis is an inflammation of the oily glands in the eyelids. The symptoms include sore, red, swollen eyelids and excessive crusting of the eyelashes. This condition is common among eye patients, particularly among younger people. As allaboutvision.com explains, in a recent US study ophthalmologists and optometrists reported that 37%-47% of their patients had at some point experienced blepharitis symptoms.
Luckily, blepharitis can easily be treated with warm compresses and regular cleaning using baby shampoo. Although, if it develops into an infection, you must take your child to our children eye doctor and antibiotics will be required.
5. Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
The American Optometric Association defines conjunctivitis as an inflammation or swelling of the thin transparent layer of tissue covering the white part of the eye (conjunctiva). It usually occurs due to viral or bacterial infections, allergies or irritation, and is most commonly experienced by children. Look out for these symptoms in your child:
- A gritty feeling in one or both eyes
- Itching or burning sensation in one or both eyes
- Excessive tearing
- Discharge from one or both eyes
- Swollen eyelids
- Pink discoloration to the whites of one or both eyes
- Increased sensitivity to light
If not neglected, conjunctivitis is a minor eye infection, which can be treated with eye drops or ointment. However, it is highly CONTAGIOUS and can spread to the other eye! Frequent hand washing will limit the spread of the infection. Medical assistance is recommended.
About our pediatric eye doctor near you!
Our exceptional doctors, Amy Lambert, MD, and Rachel Bloom, MD, are both board certified pediatric ophthalmologists. Dr. Lambert, the founder of Pediatric Eye Associates, LLc, is also a board certified strabismus surgeon, and Dr. Bloom is additionally fellowship trained. Our child eye doctors are experts at meeting your children’s eye and visual needs. We pride ourselves with the results we achieve with our patients and we believe the key is not just our medical expertise, but also attitude and patience with the children. Our motto is “to provide the highest quality eye care for children in a setting that is comfortable and reassuring.”
We understand that you will have many questions about our Livingston ophthalmologist, so if any of them are still unanswered, please refer to our FAQs page, or contact us. You can get in touch with us by:
1. Visiting our practice
22 Old Short Hills Rd. Lower Level-1,Livingston, New Jersey 07039
Open hours: Monday – Friday 9:00 – 17:00
2. Calling us on 973-422-1230
Submitting the enquiry form on our contact us page
Checking our facebook page – Pediatric Eye Associates, LLC
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.