PEDIATRIC OPHTHALMOLOGY

Pediatric ophthalmologists focus on the development of the visual system and the various diseases that disrupt visual development in children. Pediatric ophthalmologists also have expertise in managing the various ocular diseases that affect children. Pediatric ophthalmologists are qualified to perform complex eye surgery as well as to manage children's eye problems using glasses and medications. Many ophthalmologists and other physicians refer pediatric patients to a pediatric ophthalmologist for examination and management of ocular problems due to children's unique needs. In addition to children with obvious vision problems, children with head turns, head tilts, squinting of the eyes, or preferred head postures (torticollis) are typically referred to a pediatric ophthalmologist for evaluation. Pediatric ophthalmologists typically also manage adults with eye movement disorders (such as nystagmus or strabismus) due to their familiarity with strabismus conditions.

Ambloypia

What is Ambloypia?
It is a condition whereby the vision in one or both eyes is not developed properly, especially in children. If it is left untreated before the brain matures (below 8 year old), this could result in poor vision of the amblyopic eye permanently. Therefore it is important for children before school age to get their eye checked with an eye specialist.

What are the causes of Ambloypia?

  • Uncorrected refractive error (eye power)

  • Squint (misalignment of the eyes; 2 eyes are not looking together at a same object)

  • Congenital cataract

  • Genetic ( family history with lazy eyes)

  • Corneal ulcer /scar

  • Damage to the eye due to trauma

  • Droopy eyelid

What is the signs and symptoms of Ambloypia?

  • Cannot see the whiteboard/TV clearly

  • Trouble catching balls and other objects thrown through the air

  • Avoidance of tasks that involve depth perception ( ability to judge the space between 2 objects)

  • Bumping into doors and other stationary objects

  • Complaints from their school teacher that the child is not attentive during classes

  • Avoid doing near task such as school work

  • Abnormal head posture

 

How to diagnose Ambloypia?
Ambloypia can be diagnosed through an orthoptic assessment, a series of tests which are used to determine a person’s ability to use the eyes as a pair (binocular vision)

 

How to treat Ambloypia?
  • Correction of the refractive error eg. Glasses
  • Eye patch to encourage the child to use the lazy eye
    Treatment is more effective if it is treated before the age 8. When amblyopia is detected too late, it may not be possible to reverse the visual damage. Therefore it is important that you have your child checked if you or the school health services suspects or picks up a potential problem.
Compliance
  • Follow the treatment plan as advised
  • Regularly follow up with the orthoptist and ophthalmologist
Common Pediatric
Diseases / Conditions

Refractive Error

What is Refractive Error?
The most common type of refractive errors includes:

  • Short-sightedness (myopia) – poor distance vision

  • Long-sightedness (hyperopia) – poor near vision

  • Astigmatism – poor distance and near vision as a result of uneven corneal curvature.

What are the signs that your child may have vision problems?

  • Sitting too close to the TV or holding a book too close

  • Easily lose their concentration while reading or using a finger to guide his eyes when reading

  • Squinting or tilting the head to see better

  • Frequent eye rubbing

  • Sensitivity to light and/or excessive tearing

  • Closing one eye to read, watch TV in order to see better

  • Avoiding activities which require near vision, such as reading or homework, or distance vision, such as participating in sports or other recreational activities

  • Complain of headaches or tired eyes

  • Receiving lower grades than usual

What are the treatments for refractive errors?
Eyeglasses / contact lenses are the treatment option for this condition.

 

Children should have an eye exam by no later than 6 months old, then again by age 3 years, and just before starting school.

 

School age children need an eye exam every year. Frequent eye exams are important because during the school years children eye glass prescriptions can change frequently.

Quote Of The Day

The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.                                                                                                                                                                                 - Audrey Hepburn -

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