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Common Eye Diseases in Children (and Treatment Options)

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Unbeknownst to many, there are actually many different eye conditions and diseases that can affect a child’s vision, so if you are a parent and your child’s pediatrician suspects an eye condition – of if your child fails a vision screening – he or she can refer you to a pediatric optometrist for additional evaluation and diagnosis.

The key with children’s eye diseases, like in any other area of medicine, is early detection and treatment, as this helps to avoid lifelong impairments that could permanently affect vision. In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the more common eye disorders that affect children and how they may be treated.

  • Astigmatism This condition refers to an irregularly-shaped cornea that can result in blurred vision; if this blurriness occurs, glasses are often prescribed.
  • Blocked Tear Duct This affliction, also referred to as nasolacrimal duct obstruction, affects babies and causes their eyes to overflow with tears and collect mucus; gentle massaging of the tear duct can help relieve the blockage, and if that has no success, a tear duct probing procedure or surgery may be necessary.
  • Cataract Yes, this can occur to infants and children, too; this clouding of the eye’s lens affects about three out of 10,000 children, and, like with adults, most of the time surgery is required. Note that cataracts in babies and children are rare and not usually related to the condition that adults experience.
  • Chalazion This firm but painless bump on the eyelid is due to a blocked oil gland; it may resolve on its own or be treated with eye drops or warm compresses (in some cases, minor surgery is recommended).
  • Droopy Eyelids (Ptosis) In some aspects of “societal vanity” this is also known as “The Bedroom Eyes Effect,” but it ultimately refers to a condition wherein the eyelids are not as open as they should be, caused by weakness in the muscle that opens the lids; in severe cases, poor vision development (amblyopia) can be the result, for which eyelid surgery is often suggested.
  • Falsely Misaligned Eyes (Pseudostrabismus) Traditionally known as “crossed eyes,” this affliction is caused by a wide nasal bridge or extra folds of skin between the nose and eye; currently there are no recommended methods of treatment for this, outside of eye doctors stressing that the eyes should be monitored to be sure they remain healthy.

Some other afflictions to look out for include:

  • Farsightedness (Hypertopia)
  • Glaucoma
  • Lazy Eye (Amblyopia)
  • Misaligned Eye (Strabismus)
  • Nearsightedness (Myopia)
  • Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis)
  • Scratched Cornea (Corneal Abrasion)
  • Sty (Hordeolum)
  • Swollen Eyelids (Blepharitis)

If you suspect your child is suffering from poor vision, make an appointment with Quality Family Eye Care today by calling (210) 996-2008. We can handle everything from reading glasses to a routine eye exam…and everything in between.