Childhood eye problems are common. You can help protect your child’s eyesight by watching out for warning signs and taking your child to a doctor at the first sign of a problem. Most common eye realted problems in younger age group includes:
- • Turned eyes (strabismus)
- • Lazy eye (amblyopia)
- • Refractive errors
1) Turned eyes or Squint (strabismus)
- • Signs
- • Causes
- • Risk factors
Crossed eyes, also called strabismus, is a condition in which the eyes don’t line up. In this condition, the eyes look in different directions. And each eye will focus on a different objects. The condition is more common in children, but it can also occur later in life. In older children and adults, crossed eyes can be caused by a variety of underlying medical conditions, like cerebral palsy or stroke. Crossed eyes can usually be corrected with corrective lenses, surgery, or a combination of both.
In squinting eyes, both the eyes might point inward or outward and focus in different directions along with impaired vision
- • double vision
- • decreased depth perception
- • eyestrain or headache
Symptoms may be constant or appear only when tired or not feeling well.
Crossed eyes occur either due to nerve damage or when the muscles around your eyes don’t work together because some are weaker than others. When the brain receives a different visual message from each eye, it ignores the signals coming from the weaker eye.If the condition isn’t corrected, one may lose vision in the weaker eye. Crossed eyes are common in children. Often the underlying cause is unknown. Infantile esotropia is a type of crossed eyes that appears in babies during their first year of life. Esotropia runs in families and usually requires surgery to correct. Acquired esotropia occurs in children usually between the ages of 2 and 5. Eyeglasses can usually correct it. Crossed eyes can also occur later in life. It’s usually caused by physical disorders, like eye injuries, cerebral palsy, or stroke.
- • Family history
- • Brain disorder or brain tumor
- • History of stroke or brain injury
- • Lazy eye
Recommended treatment plan for crossed eyes will depend on the severity and underlying cause of the condition. If the crossed eyes have resulted from a lazy eye, doctor may have you wear a patch over your stronger eye to force the muscles of your weaker eye to work harder. Doctor might also prescribe eye drops to blur the vision in your stronger eye. They can also use Botox injections to weaken the muscle that’s overacting and causing the eye turn (In older age group).
Other potential treatments include:
- • Eye exercises
- • Corrective lenses, such as eyeglasses or contact lenses
- • Surgery on certain eye muscles, particularly if corrective lenses haven’t corrected the condition. Surgery for correcting squint will depend upon the age of the child and the type of squint. In older age group squint surgery when advised is a day care procedure not requiring any hospitalization.
Often crossed eyes can be corrected with corrective lenses, eye patches, surgery or by other modalities.It’s important to seek treatment right away to lower your risk for vision loss. If your crossed eyes are caused by an underlying medical condition, early diagnosis and treatment may help improve your chances of recovery.
2) Lazy eye(Amblyopia)
- • Signs
- • Causes
- • Diagnosis
- • Treatment
The medical term for lazy eye is “amblyopia.”
Amblyopia occurs when your brain favors one eye, often due to poor vision in your other eye. Eventually, your brain might ignore signals from your weak, or “lazy,” eye. The condition can result in vision impairment and loss of depth perception. Your affected eye doesn’t necessarily look different, although it may “wander” in different directions. The condition will usually only affect one of your eyes, but in certain circumstances, the vision in both of your eyes can be affected. The condition usually occurs in children. It’s important to note that a lazy eye isn’t the same as a crossed or turned eye. That condition is called strabismus. However, strabismus can lead to amblyopia if your crossed eye gets much less use than your uncrossed one. If amblyopia goes untreated permanent loss of vision can occur. This can include loss of both depth perception and 3-D vision.
Amblyopia may be hard to detect until it becomes severe. Early warning signs include:
- • Tendency to bump into the objects on one side
- • Eye wandering inwards or outwards
- • Poor depth perception
- • Double vision
- • Squinting
Amblyopia is related to developmental problems in your brain. In this case, the nerve pathways in your brain that process sight don’t function properly. This dysfunction occurs when your eyes don’t receive equal amounts of use.
A number of conditions and factors can lead you to rely on one eye more than the other. These include:
- • constant strabismus, or turning of one eye
- • genetics, or a family history of amblyopia
- • damage to one of your eyes from trauma
- • drooping of one of your eyelids
- • vitamin A deficiency
- • vision impairment, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism
The eye that you use less becomes weaker (“lazy”) over time.
It is recommended that a child gets an eye examination when they are 6 months old and 3 years old. After that, children should receive routine exams every 2 years, or more frequently, from ages 6 to 18.
Treating underlying eye conditions is the most effective way to treat amblyopia. In other words, you need to help your damaged eye develop normally. Early treatment measures are simple and may include eyeglasses, contact lenses, eye patches, eye drops, or vision therapy.
The earlier you get treatment, the better the outcome. However, recovery may still be possible if your amblyopia is diagnosed and treated when you’re older. Treatment options includes:
- • Glasses/contact lenses
If the amblyopia is because of nearsighted or farsighted, or astigmatism in one eye, corrective glasses or contact lenses may be prescribed.
- • Eye patch
Wearing an eye patch over the dominant eye can help strengthen your weaker eye. Doctor will suggest that you wear the patch for particular hours a day, depending on how severe your amblyopia is. The patch will help develop your brain area that controls vision.
Eye patching therapy for amblyopia
- • Eye drops
Drops may be used once or twice a day to cloud your vision in your healthy eye. Like an eye patch, this encourages you to use the weaker eye more. This is an alternative to wearing a patch.
- • Surgery
If you have crossed eyes or eyes that point in opposite directions, you may require surgery on the muscles of your eye.
Although amblyopia can in some cases result in vision impairment or blindness, it’s typically very treatable, especially when caught early.
- • Refractive errors
Refractive errors of any kind farsightness, nearsightness or astigmatism should be detaced and treated at the earliest. Correcting the refractive error early helps prevent the eye from developing amblyopia and eventually strabismus. refractive errors can be easily treatment with the help of glasses, contact lenses if indicated and other modalities. A family history of glasses should be taken seriously and the child should be examined at intervals to help him see clearly.
Why choose us?
When it comes to child’s health there is nothing in this world which comes before. Every child is special and each child deserves the best. We at AGRAWAL EYE HOSPITAL understand the importance of child health and its timely management. We have a specialized clinic running for children for their eye related issues. Please feel free to contact us for any further queries or doubts. We are always glad to help you.