Children may be diagnosed with eye diseases similar to those of adults and pediatric diseases.
The first years of life are fundamental for the proper development of vision:
- The visual acuity (vision of each eye) is very low in the newborn and, given the right conditions, it will reach 100% acuity between 5 and 7 years old.
- Stereopsis or 3-dimensional vision (vision of both eyes at the same time) is very important to develop many skills needed in our daily life.
Both can be threatened by organic pathologies such as tumors, glaucoma or functional pathologies like the lazy eye or strabismus.
That is why early diagnosis of eye conditions is so important in children so that they are corrected in time, as once the visual development ends (around 10 years old) the existing sequel will persist for life.
When is it necessary to visit the ophthalmologist?
- When there have been problems during pregnancy or childbirth or the child was born premature.
- If parents wear glasses or have suffered from lazy eye or strabismus.
- If there is any family history of eye diseases.
- When parents observe in a child that he or she:
. Has frequent tearing
. The pupil has a white reflection
. Light bothers a lot
. Blinks a lot and rubs his or her eyes
. Gets very close to the TV or paper
. Has headaches
. His or her eyes are red
. Twists one or both eyes or head when focusing
. Has difficulty drawing, writing, reading
. He seems too "clumsy" for his or her age
. The child complains about not seeing letters well, they get together or cross.
At what age is the first visit recommended?
- In the first months of life it is possible to examine pathologies such as congenital glaucoma, retinoblastoma, retinal diseases, lacrimal duct obstruction can also be found and congenital strabismus, as well as palpebral and intraocular abnormalities.
- During the first 4 years the first symptoms of strabismus may appear and refractive errors can be detected and corrected.
- Between 4 and 10 years old is when strabismus, lazy eyes and refraction errors are mostly detected and treated.
It is vital to visit an ophthalmologist when any of the conditions referred to in the above appear when 4-5 years old, if not done before, to ensure the child´s correct visual development. There is a significant number of untreatable lazy eyes because of being detected too late as children see very well with their other eye and this makes the pathology unnoticed for parents and teachers.
Range of pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus services:
- Diagnosis and treatment for refractive defects (myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism)
- Diagnosis and treatment for amblyopia or lazy eye.
- Diagnosis and medical and surgical treatment for strabismus in children.
- Diagnosis and treatment for lacrimal ducts, retina and glaucoma diseases.
- Diagnosis and surgical and botulinum toxin treatment for strabismus in adults.