COMMON EYE PROBLEMS IN CHILDREN
1. REFRACTIVE ERRORS IN CHILDREN
The most common refractive errors in children are:
- Myopia (also called nearsightedness)
- Hyperopia (also called farsightedness)
- Astigmatism (distorted vision)
It is possible to have two or more types of refractive errors at the same time.
Myopia: A myopic eye is longer than normal or has a cornea that is too steep so that the light rays focus in front of the retina. Close objects look clear, but distant objects appear blurred.
Hyperopia: A hyperopic eye is shorter than normal. Light from close objects cannot focus clearly on the retina. The words on a page will seem blurry.
Astigmatism: Astigmatism distorts or blurs vision for both near and far objects. It’s almost like looking into a funhouse mirror in which you appear too tall, too wide, or too thin. When you have astigmatism, the cornea (the clear front window of the eye) curves more in one direction than in the other It is possible to have astigmatism in combination with myopia or hyperopia.
It is a term used to mean poor vision in an eye that has not developed normal sight (usually during early childhood). The condition is sometimes called “lazy eye.” It occurs when visual acuity is much better in one eye than the other.
Misalignment of eyes so that both eyes do not appear looking straight at the same time either in one or all directions. It can be congenital or acquired in early childhood. If not treated timely can lead to a lazy eye in the constantly squinting eye.
4. CONGENITAL NASO LACRIMAL DUCT OBSTRUCTION
A blocked tear duct is when the eye’s drainage system for tears is either partially or completely obstructed by a soft membrane. Tears cannot drain normally, causing a watery, irritated, or chronically infected eye.
A special massage technique helps open up the membrane covering the lower opening into your baby’s nose. Any nasal congestion (cold) should be treated immediately.
5. CONJUNCTIVITIS (PINK EYE)
It refers to either a viral or bacterial infection (both very contagious), or an allergic reaction (not contagious). The eye appears red or pink due to inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin, filmy membrane that covers the inside of eyelids and white parts of the eye.
The eye tears have discharge or both and are usually itchy and uncomfortable.
6. PEDIATRIC CATARACT
The white reflex in the center of the pupil is the most common presentation of congenital cataracts. Slowly progressing developmental cataracts can only present with blur vision.
Treatment is usually surgical extraction of the cataractous lens and replacing it with an artificial lens.
It involves a drooping upper eyelid that covers the eye either somewhat or entirely, and so blocks vision.
It looks like a small lump on the eyelid and may occur when a meibomian gland (an oil-secreting gland in the eyelid) becomes clogged. It is not caused by infection.
It looks like a red, sore lump near the edge of the eyelid; it is caused by an infected eyelash follicle.