Many parents are unaware that their children’s eyes are developing, thus are vulnerable to serious eye disorders. For this reason, pediatric ophthalmologists in NJ suggest regular eye exams for prevention and reliable diagnosis of eye disorders.
Diagnosing, intervening, and treating conditions can support the healthy development of your child’s eyesight. Further, it is also a good idea for parents to have a general awareness surrounding various eye conditions. Such awareness can help bring attention to concerns in-between vision exams and facilitate a trustworthy partnership between yourself and your child’s provider.
In this blog post, we aim to give an overview of some of the more common eye disorders. We start, below, with refractive errors.
What Do You Need to Know About Refractive Errors?
Refractive errors cause blurry vision in children. It can be scary if your child is having difficulty seeing. You may notice your child has difficulty seeing near, far, or sometimes both. If left untreated, the child can develop a “lazy eye” or experience continuous vision loss.
Fortunately, it is usually not difficult to correct refractive errors. Pediatric ophthalmologists can determine the best prescription to correct the condition.
You Have Heard of Amblyopia (Lazy Eye). What Do You Need to Know?
Amblyopia is not uncommon in children. Essentially, it is poor vision in an eye that is not developing typically. The everyday slang for Amblyopia most parents are familiar with is “lazy eye.”
So how do children develop a lazy eye? Often it is a result of uncorrected refractive errors. Other causes of the condition include Strabismus, misaligned eyes, drooping eyelids, and rarely cataracts in children.
What Do You Need to Know About Strabismus?
Strabismus is a misalignment or “crossed eyes.” It occurs in about 3% of children, and if left untreated, 50% of those can develop vision loss. If your child has Strabismus, you might notice that one eye looks ahead, while the other turns in, out, up, or down in direction.
Pediatric ophthalmologists agree the best treatment of Strabismus is to intervene early. It is not wise to assume your child will outgrow the condition. Without early intervention, the condition can potentially lead to permanent vision loss. Read more about Strabismus.
Do Children Get Cataracts?
Children can get cataracts, and the condition is known as a “cloudy eye.” The child’s eye appears cloudy because they have cataracts. Cataracts can develop in one or both eyes.
How do children get cataracts? Most are a result of injury, or the child is born with them. For the child to see okay again, the cataract will need to be removed by a pediatric surgeon.
Very rarely, cataracts can be a symptom of retinoblastoma, a cancer of the eye. Pediatric ophthalmologists have experience in ruling out retinoblastoma.
Is Pink Eye a Serious Eye Disorder?
Most parents have heard of pink eye, or ‘conjunctivitis’. Many even have a child who has had it at some point. Pink eye is an irritation to the white of the eye due to an infection or allergy. If caused by infection, it can be bacterial or viral, both of which are incredibly contagious.
If your child has pink eye, it may be self-evident. The child will have redness in the eyes, itching, tears, or colored discharge. Symptoms usually resolve on their own in about a week, but a pediatric ophthalmologist may prescribe antibacterial eye drops to help clear the infection.
It is best to keep your child home or away from other children until symptoms have resolved for community protection. Read more about pink eye.
What Do You Do If You Suspect Your Child Has a Serious Eye Disorder?
If you think your child has an eye disorder, you may wonder, “how do I find a pediatric eye doctor near me”?
Pediatric Eye Associates are a team of board-certified, fellowship-trained ophthalmologists in New Jersey. Our doctors, Dr. Amy lambert, MD and Dr. Rachel Bloom, MD, are fantastic, and we know kids! We are experts in pediatric eye disorders and are here to help.
Contact us with questions or for a consultation. We are thrilled to partner with you and your child!
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 providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.