Children experience a variety of eye problems, many quite distinct from adult eye diseases. Pediatric ophthalmologists are specially trained to manage the following disorders:
- Infections (conjunctivitis).
- Strabismusis a misalignment of the eyes that affects 2-4% of the population; it is often associated with amblyopia. The inward turning gaze commonly referred to as "crossed-eyes" is an example of strabismus. The term strabismus applies to other types of misalignments, including an upward, downward, or outward turning eye.
- Amblyopia (aka lazy eye) occurs when the vision of one eye is significantly better than the other eye, and the brain begins to rely on the better eye and ignore the weaker one. Amblyopia affects 4% of the population and is clinically diagnosed when the refractive error of one eye is more than 1.5 diopters different than the other eye. The management of amblyopia involves correcting of significant refractive errors and using techniques that encourage the brain to pay attention to the weaker eye such as patching the stronger eye.(occlusion therapy)
- Blocked tear ducts : Congenital malformations affecting the tear drainage duct system can be evaluated and possibly surgically corrected by a pediatric ophthalmologist.
- Ptosis : Drooping of the upper lid. Surgery is requierd to correct if significant or for cosmetic appearance.
- Retinopathy of prematurity : The pathogenesis of retinopathy of prematurity is an incomplete formation of the eyeball, the retina and its vascular system
- Nystagmus : It refers to a condition of involuntary eye movements. The eye muscles that control eye movement receive a pulsating stimulus to contract, instead of a quiet steady tone. Patients with this affliction will adopt an unusual head, or eye position to minimize their unwanted appearance. It can be present at birth or acquired anytime throughout life due to neurologic or ocular disease.
- Visual inattention : Refractive errors such as myopia (near-sightedness) and astigmatism can often be corrected with prescriptions for glasses or contacts. Accommodative insufficiency or Convergence insufficiency and asthenopia
- Pediatric cataracts
- Pediatric glaucoma
- Abnormal vision development
- Genetic disorders often cause eye problems for affected children. Since approximately 30% of genetic syndromes affect the eyes, examination by a pediatric ophthalmologist can help with the diagnosis of genetic conditions. Many pediatric ophthalmologists participate with multi-disciplinary medical teams that treat children with genetic syndromes.