Pediatric Ophthalmology & Adult Strabismus

Pediatric Eye Examinations

Pediatric Eye ExamsAt Arlington Eye Center, our specialists are focused on providing the best in vision care and treatment for children. Diagnosing and treating children’s diseases and disorders can be difficult without specialized training and facilities. Eye care for children is different than adults because children’s eyesight develops rapidly in the first months and years of life. It is recommended that children receive their first eye exam by the age of 3 because most developmental eye problems must be diagnosed and treated before the age of 5 to have a chance of fully recovering.

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If you start to see indications of crossed eyes or sluggish eyesight development, it is important to plan an eye examination for your child. The physicians at Arlington Eye Center will administer a comprehensive pediatric eye exam to determine if there are any vision problems that need to be addressed.

Services covered for pediatric ophthalmology:


Common Pediatric Eye Conditions

Strabismus

Strabismus is the eye muscle coordination problem that develops from the extraocular muscle, or a brain condition. It occurs when eyes do not align with one another while focusing on the same point. It may appear that each eye is looking in a different direction, which is why it can be called wandering eyes, or crossed eyes. One eye may look conventionally, straight ahead while the other eye may be turned downward, inward, or outward. Strabismus prevents patients from being able to have binocular vision causing poor depth perception or double vision.

The brain controls the muscles needed to align both eyes correctly. That is why strabismus is more common in children with certain disorders that affect the brain, such as premature babies, or disabilities like cerebral palsy.

Treatment of Strabismus

Strabismus may benefit from treatment by glasses or surgery. If strabismus is left untreated it may result in amblyopia, or a lazy eye. If the eyes are held straight with glasses the child’s vision will need to be watched to make sure the proper visual development is happening. If alignment does not improve through glasses, surgery may be necessary.

Amblyopia

Amblyopia is also known as lazy eye. If a child has amblyopia it is essential to attempt to correct it while they are still young. This condition occurs when one eye develops normal vision, and the other does not. Normal vision development necessitates that both eyes are able to focus on an object and that the eyes remain straight. If vision is unclear, or something is interfering with vision, the brain will ignore this eye and only use the good eye that has clear sight. It is important to treat this condition as quickly as possible because the longer one eye is dominant, the harder it is to treat.

Treatment of Amblyopia

The treatment of amblyopia depends on the condition that is causing the mis-alightment, or blurring, but it usually involves using a patch. Patch therapy will be used to cover the normal eye, forcing the use of the weaker eye. Over time, the eye will strengthen and vision will improve.


Pediatric Cataracts

Most people think of cataracts as something that happens to our eyes as we age. Although age-related cataracts is the most common type of cataract, infants and children can also be affected. In these cases, the cataract is not always noticed right away; however when they are, they usually appear as a white or gray spot or reflection inside the pupil. Upon examination, a doctor can identity a cataract which can benefit early diagnosis and treatment.

What is a Cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the middle of the eye. The lens should always remain clear in order to focus on images properly. When a cataract is large or dense, it can cause blurry vision or even block vision.

Causes

Infant cataracts are typically caused by a malformation of the lens during early intra-uterine development. In approximately 20% of cases, infant cataracts are due to heredity. In older children, cataracts can occur due to a less severe malformation of the lens in uterine development. Cataracts can also occur in older children due to trauma.

Treatment

In some cases, where a cataract is less severe, children can be treated using eye patch therapy, glasses, or dilating eye drops. Cataract surgery is also a treatment option in situations where the lens is heavily clouded and vision is blocked. Talk to your child’s doctor at Arlington Eye Center to determine which treatment option is best.

If a cataract is left untreated, it could cause the child to become blind. When the clouded lens blocks light from the retina, the retina is unable to send visual information to the brain. This process is important in childhood development because neuron connections are crucial in cognitive growth. When a child is unable to correctly visualize environmental cues or images, their perceptual skills and information processing can become impaired if not treated properly. It is very important for pediatric cataracts to be treated right away in order to avoid improper brain stimulation.


Pediatric Eye Care at Arlington Eye Center

Here at Arlington Eye Center, our specialists focus on the special vision management of children. We treat eye conditions such as lazy eye, blocked tear ducts, eye movement disorders, crossed or wandering eyes, as well as infections or injuries to the eye. Arlington Eye Center encourages you to schedule an eye exam for your child as soon as you suspect a problem. If detected early, many eye conditions can be successfully treated. With our familiarity and expertise combined with a relaxing environment, our track record for happy young patients is extensive.