Pediatric Eye Care
Development of the visual system occurs from birth through the first decade of life. Several conditions such as misalignment of the eyes (Strabismus), significant refractive errors and cataracts can interfere with visual development. Some conditions have no symptoms and can only be detected through a complete eye examination. We suggest that all children have an initial eye exam before starting school to detect any problems that may interfere with learning. Treatment of childhood eye diseases is most successful at early ages and may include glasses, patching, eye drops or even surgery. An examination can be performed at any age if a problem is suspected.
It is not always easy to diagnose vision problems in infants and young children because they cannot verbalize their frustrations. Early detection is vital to correcting these problems before they result in permanent damage.
In addition to Drs. Holly and Silver, The Eye Care Clinic has a fellowship-trained pediatric ophthalmologist, Dr. Patrick Arnold, to meet your child's eye care needs.
Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)
Amblyopia is a condition where one eye does reach visual acuity as fast as the other eye, causing vision problems. This condition can be hard for parents to diagnose because it may not be outwardly visible. If you notice any strange vision habits with your infant or young child, it is best to schedule an eye exam as quickly as possible. Treatment with prescription glasses or contact lenses can be effective. Placing an eye patch on the strong eye is also effective in forcing the Amblyopic eye to develop normally.
Strabismus results when your two eyes cannot keep proper alignment with each other, causing the eyes to look in different directions:
This can be a constant or frequently-occurring vision problem that can be treated through surgery or non-surgical treatments. Most children do not "grow out" of this condition. The brain often begins to ignore the visual images from the misaligned eye, which can lead to Amblyopia.
Cataracts typically affect older adults; however, there are cases of cataracts affecting people at birth. Congenital Cataracts are formed when naturally-occurring proteins in the eye lens become clumped. The result is cloudy vision that may affect the entire lens or just portions of the lens. Congenital Cataracts can lead to Amblyopia or Strabismus because the child will try to over-compensate for the blurred vision.