Children’s development is an intrinsically complex and important stage. At this point in their lives, many things can become complicated, diagnosed and, most importantly, successfully treated. Especially for eye conditions, early diagnosis is crucial!
This is because early diagnosis gives a better chance for a successful and quicker recovery. For this reason our pediatric eye doctor encourages parents to take their children to an ophthalmologist even with the slightest suspicions, or as early as around the age of 2 years old.
In “5 common eye and vision problems experienced by children” we outline the conditions that you should keep an eye for in your children as these occur commonly in the US. One of the conditions on the list is strabismus, and our children’s ophthalmologist is a certified strabismus surgeon. Therefore, below we explain what strabismus is and in an upcoming article we will talk about the causes and treatment options.
What is strabismus?
Strabismus is more commonly known as crossed eyes. It refers to the condition when a person’s eyes do not look in the same direction/place, which affects people with poor eye muscle control, or who are intensely far sighted, as well as children. With crossed eyes one eye is usually straight, and another is misaligned, but these can alternate, or switch.
Six muscles are attached to each eye to control its movements, as directed by the brain. Normally both eyes receive the same signals, thus work together to point at the same place. When eye control is affected the eyes won’t line up together.
Kids Health explains that in this circumstance the less affected eye will become dominant, thus will continue to normally develop eye control, while the other eye will lag behind in development. In the weaker eye, the connection to the brain doesn’t form correctly – focus and eye control are underdeveloped.
Strabismus is common in children – in the US about 4% of all children are affected. Children have a higher chance of developing this condition if the parents have this condition. However, many people with crossed eyes do not have relatives with the same condition.
Infants can also experience pseudo-strabismus (false strabismus), which means that the eyes are aiming at the same object, yet for external reasons, such as extra skin, appear to be misaligned. This will correct itself as the baby develops.
Strabismus usually develops in children around the age of 3, so our pediatric eye doctor recommends to make a check-up appointment with us when your child is 2-3 years old to diagnose and treat crossed eyes from an early stage.
The American Optometric Association explains that strabismus can be classified by the direction the eye turns. The classifications include:
- Inward turning is called esotropia
- Outward turning is called exotropia
- Upward turning is called hypertropia
- Downward turning is called hypotropia
Other classifications of strabismus include:
- The frequency with which it occurs—either constant or intermittent
- Whether it always involves the same eye—unilateral
- If the turning eye is sometimes the right eye and other times the left eye—alternating.
There are two types of ESOTROPIA that are common in children at different ages.
- INFANTILE ESOTROPIA affects infants as they struggle to use their eyes together.
- ACCOMMODATIVE ESOTROPIA mostly affects children around 2 years of age, it shows as an inward turn of the eyes when the child focuses the eyes on an object.
EXOTROPIA is also relatively common, which usually occurs when the child is daydreaming, ill, tired, or focusing on a distant object.
Since children show strabismus, or pseudostrabismus from such a young age, our pediatric eye doctor recommends scheduling a visit as soon as some symptoms are visible, otherwise as early as at the age of 2 years old for a check up.
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:
- Visiting our practice
22 Old Short Hills Rd. Lower Level-1,Livingston, New Jersey 07039
Open hours: Monday – Friday 9:00 – 17:00
- 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.