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 Children Vision & Common Eye Problems

 

 

 

                   

 

Vision is closely linked to the learning process and children who have trouble

 seeing will often have trouble with their live activity and schoolwork. 

 

More than 80% of information children receive about the world comes through

 their eyes, and visual problems can impact on a child’s educational, physical

and social development.

 

For children, eye examinations can play an important role in development as

often children will not complain of a vision problem 

as they do not know that

they have a vision problem.

 

Changes in a child's vision happen very slowly. A child may think that

everyone else sees the same way, especially if a child develops

nearsightedness (myopia) where faraway objects appear blurry.

 

Some eye problems are more common in children than adults, these problems

 can end in permanent vision damage if not corrected early befor the maturation

 of the child's visual system.

The following are some of the common eye problems that the children could

have :

 

 

- Astigmatism:

 

 

Astigmatism is a mild and easily treatable imperfection in the curvature of the eye. The

condition can cause blurred vision (see image above). Astigmatism occurs when the

front surface of the eye (cornea) or the lens, inside the eye, has a slightly different

surface curvature in one direction from the other. Instead of being even and smooth in all

directions, the surface may have some areas that are flatter or steeper. When the

cornea has a distorted shape, patient has corneal astigmatism. When the lens is

distorted, patient has lenticular astigmatism. Either type of astigmatism can cause

blurred vision.

 

Astigmatism blurs the vision at all distances. Astigmatism is often present at birth and

may occur in combination with nearsightedness or farsightedness. The condition tends

to remain constant, neither improving nor deteriorating much over time.

 

Astigmatism is common and affects most people to some degree. Often it's not

pronounced enough to require corrective action. But when it is, treatments include

corrective lenses and surgery.

 

For more: http://www.aoa.org/Astigmatism.xml

  

- Blepharitis (swollen eyelids):

 

 

Refers to chronic inflammation of the eyelids. Blepharitis is one of the most common

disorder of the eye and is often the underlying reason for eye discomfort, redness and

tearing. Other eye symptoms of blepharitis include: Burning, itching, light sensitivity, and

an irritating, sandy, gritty sensation that is worse upon awakening.

If not treated, blepharitis can lead to more severe signs and symptoms such as blurring

of vision, missing or misdirected eyelashes, and inflammation of other eye tissue,

particularly the cornea.

Because blepharitis rarely goes away completely, most patients must maintain an eyelid

hygiene routine for life. This involves keeping the lids clean and free of crusts, using

warm compress, followed by a light scrubbing of the eyelid (repeated several times

daily). 

In cases where a bacterial infection is the cause, various antibiotics and other

medications may be prescribed along with eyelid hygiene.

 

 

For more: http://www.aoa.org/Blepharitis.xml or

                http://www.agingeye.net/otheragingeye/blepharitis.php

                                                                                      

 

- Cataract (cloudy lens):

 

    

 

 

A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens, the part of the eye responsible for

focusing light and producing clear, sharp images. The lens is contained in a

sealed bag or capsule. As old cells die they become trapped within the

capsule. Over time, the cells accumulate causing the lens to cloud, making

images look blurred or fuzzy. For most people, cataracts are a natural result

of aging.

In fact, they are the leading cause of visual loss among adults 55 and older.

Eye injuries, certain medications, and diseases such as diabetes and

alcoholism have also been known to cause cataracts.

When a cataract seriously interferes with normal vision and activities, corrective surgery

may be required. The cloudy lens is surgically removed and replaced with an artificial

lens called and Interocular lens (IOL). Fortunately, modern cataract surgery is safe and

effective with excellent results and minimal discomfort.Most people can return to normal

activities within a day or two of the procedure.

 

 

For more: http://www.aoa.org/x4714.xml

                http://www.agingeye.net/cataract/cataractinformation.php

 

 

- Corneal Abrasion (scratched cornea):

 

 

A corneal abrasion is a scratch or cut (abrasion) of the clear outer layer (cornea) of the

eye. Injury (trauma) is the most common cause for corneal abrasions. such as scratches

from fingernails, foreign objects hitting the cornea, over wearing of contact lenses or

Inability to fully close the eyelids.

Corneal abrasions are fairly common. Those who wear contact lenses or work in dusty,

dirty, windy, or debris-laden areas are more likely to get a corneal abrasion. person with

corneal abrasion will has Lots of watery tearing, sensitivity to light (especially bright

light), blurry vision, redness of the eye.  

For treatment, a tight patch will be placed over the eye and if the abrasion is

small, the epithelium should heal overnight. If the abrasion is large, it may

take a few days and antibiotics may be used to help prevent infections. It is

important not to rub the eye, especially during the healing process.

 

- Farsightedness (hyperopia):

 

 

Farsightedness or hyperopia, occurs when light entering the eye focuses

behind the retina, instead of directly on it.  This is caused by a cornea that is

flatter, or an eye that is shorter, than a normal eye.  Farsighted people

usually have trouble seeing up close, but may also have difficulty seeing far

away as well.

 

Objects far away like the islands are in focus,

but close up objects, like the chairs are blurry

 

Glasses and contact lenses are used by many for the temporary treatment of

hyperopia.However, there are a number of vision correction procedures that

can surgically reduce or eliminate hyperopia.

 

For more: http://www.aoa.org/x4696.xml

  

- Glaucoma (elevated eye pressure):

 

Coming soon

                            

-Falsely Misaligned Eyes

 

coming soon

 

- Misaligned Eyes (strabismus):

 

 

 

Strabismus is a problem caused by one or more improperly functioning eye

muscles, resulting in a misalignment of the eyes. Normally, each eye focuses

on the same spot but sends a slightly different message to the brain. The

brain superimposes the two images, giving vision depth and dimension. 

 

Here's an easy way to see how the eyes work together, look at the image up and notice

how each eye sees the object from a slightly diffrent position, however, even though the

images are slightly different, the brain interprets them as one.

 

Each eye has six muscles that work in unison to control movements. The brain controls

the eye muscles, which keep the eyes properly aligned. It is critical that the muscles

function together for the brain to interpret the image from each eye as a single one.

In children, the cause of strabismus is not known, although the condition runs in families

and occurs more commonly in children with neurological problems.

In adults, causes of strabismus include injury to an eye muscle or the nerves controlling

those muscles; head trauma; conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure; loss

of vision; an eye or brain tumor; Graves' disease, stroke or other muscle and nerve

disorders.

 

Strabismus must be detected early in children because they are so adaptable If a child

sees double, his or her brain quickly learns to suppress or block out one of the images to

maintain single vision.  In a very short time, the brain permanently suppresses and

ignore the input from the turned eye, causing a weak or amblyopic eye.  If this is allowed

to continue, the eye that the brain ignores will never see well. Children do not grow out

of strabismus.

 

Children may also develop a head tilt or turn to compensate for the problem and

eliminate the double image. Unlike children, adults with a newly acquired strabismus

problem typically see double.

 

There are many causes of strabismus. It can be inherited, or it may be caused by

trauma, certain diseases, and sometimes eye surgery. It may also be caused by unequal

pulling of muscles on one side of the eye or a paralysis of the ocular muscles.

Occasionally, when a farsighted child tries to focus to compensate for the

farsightedness, he or she will develop accommodative strabismus. This condition usually

appears before two years of age and can occur as late as six.

 

Treatment options depend upon the type of strabismus and may include glasses,

vision therapy, prism, lenses and/or surgery. Vision therapy including patching or visual

exercises, glasses with the correct prescription or bifocal or prism correction to aid in

proper focusing, eyedrops to help focus.

 

If treated by surgery, the goal is to get the eyes straight enough that the brain can

develop some depth perception. Many children will develop the ability to use the eyes

together  following surgery, however, surgery will correct the misaligned eyes but cannot

resolve amblyopia caused by strabismus. if present, amblyopia need to be treated prior

to surgery.

 

For more: http://www.aoa.org/x4700.xml

 

 

- Lazy Eye (amblyopia):

 

 

 

 

Amblyopia is a term used to describe an uncorrectable loss of vision in an eye that

appears to be normal.  It’s commonly referred to as “lazy eye” and can occur for a variety

of reasons. Most often it results from either a misalignment of a child's eyes, such as

crossed eyes, or a difference in image quality between the two eyes (one eye focusing

better than the other. In both cases, one eye becomes stronger, suppressing the image

of the other eye. If this condition persists, the weaker eye may never develop good vision

and may even become functionally blind.

 

A child’s visual system is fully developed between approximately the ages of 9-11 year.

Until then, children readily adapt to visual problems by suppressing or blocking out the

image of the deviated eye, and, after about age 11, it is difficult if not impossible to

train the brain to use the eye normally, however, if caught early, the problem can often

be corrected and the vision preserved. 

 

Some causes of amblyopia include:  strabismus (crossed or turned eye), congenital

cataracts, cloudy cornea, droopy eyelid, unequal vision, uncorrected nearsightedness,

farsightedness or astigmatism

 

Amblyopia may occur in various degrees depending on the severity of the  underlying

problem.  Some patients just experience a partial loss; others are only able to recognize

motion. Patients with amblyopia lack binocular vision, or stereopsis – the ability to blend

the images of both eyes together.  Stereopsis is what allows us to appreciate depth.

Without it, the ability to judge distance is impaired.

  

Amblyopic children can be treated with vision therapy (which often includes patching one

eye), atropine eye drops, the correct prescription for nearsightedness or farsightedness,

or surgery. Vision therapist will place a patch over the stronger eye to force the weaker

eye to learn to see (forces the child to use the eye with amblyopia more, to strengthen

it). Patching may be required for several hours each day or even all day long and may

continue for weeks or months. which forces the child to use the eye with amblyopia

more, to strengthen it.  

 

For more: http://www.aoa.org/x4699.xml

 

 

- Nasolacrimal Duct Obstruction:

 

Tear duct blockage

 

Many children are born with an underdeveloped tear-duct system, a problem that can

lead to tear-duct blockage, excess tearing, and infection. This is called congenital

nasolacrimal duct obstruction or dacryostenosis. Most commonly, an infant is born with a

duct that is too narrow and therefore doesn't drain properly or becomes blocked easily.

 

The most common signs are excessive tearing, even when a child is not crying, crust

over the eyelid or in the eyelashes. Kids with blocked tear ducts can develop an infection

in the lacrimal sac signs include redness at the inner corner of the eye and a slight

tenderness and swelling or bump at the side of the nose.

 

Blocked tear ducts are a fairly common problem in infants; as many as one third may be

born with this condition. Fortunately, more than 90% of all cases resolve by the time

kids are 1 year old with little or no treatment. The earlier that blocked tear ducts are

discovered, the less likely it is that infection will result or that surgery will be necessary. If

there are signs of infection (such as redness, pus, or swelling), child should be seen

and treated immediately because the infection can spread to other parts of the face and

the blockage can lead to an abscess.  

 

For more: http://www.pedseye.com/topics_tear_duct_obstruction.htm

 

 

- Nearsightedness (myopia):

 

Myopia - Nearsightedness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nearsightedness, or myopia, as it is medically termed, is a vision condition in which

near objects are seen clearly, but distant objects do not come into proper focus.

 

 

Close up objects like the chairs are in focus,

while objects far away like the islands are blurry 

 

Nearsightedness occurs if your eyeball is too long or the cornea has too much curvature,

so the light entering your eye is not focused correctly.

Nearsightedness is a very common vision condition that affects nearly 30 percent of the

population. Some evidence supports the theory that nearsightedness is hereditary.

Because the eye continues to grow during childhood, nearsightedness generally

develops before age 2.

Glasses and contact lenses are used by many for the temporary treatment of

myopia.However, there are a number of vision correction procedures that

can surgically reduce or eliminate myopia.

 

For more: http://www.aoa.org/x4688.xml

                    http://www.lasersurgeryforeyes.com/myopia.html

 

 

- Ptosis (droopy eyelids):

 

 

Drooping of the upper eyelid, may occur for several reasons such as: disease,

injury, birth defect, previous eye surgery and age.  In most cases, it is

caused by either a weakness of the levator muscle (muscle that raises the

lid), or a problem with the nerve that sends messages to the muscle. 

 

Children born with ptosis may require surgical correction of the lid if it covers

the pupil.  In some cases, it may be associated with a crossed or misaligned

eye strabismus.  Left untreated, ptosis may prevent vision from developing

properly, resulting in amblyopia, or lazy eye.

 

Patients with ptosis often have difficult blinking, which may lead to irritation,

infection and eyestrain. If a sudden and obvious lid droop is developed, an

eye care specialist should be consulted immediately.  

 

Children born with moderate or severe ptosis require treatment in order for

proper vision to develop. Failure to treat ptosis can result in amblyopia

(diminished vision in one eye) and a lifetime of poor vision. All children with

ptosis, even mild cases, should visit their eye care practitioner every year.

The eyes change shape as they grow, and sometimes focusing and visual

problems develop, all because of the worsening ptosis.

For more: http://www.eyecareamerica.org/eyecare/conditions/ptosis/index.cfm

 

 

- Pink Eye (conjunctivitis):

 

Conjunctivitis ( pink eye ) 

 

 

 

It is an infection of the conjunctiva (the outer-most layer of the eye that covers the

sclera). The three most common types of conjunctivitis are: viral, allergic, and

bactrial. Each requires different treatments.  With the exception of the allergic type,

conjunctivitis is typically contagious.

 

The viral type is often associated with an upper respiratory tract infection, cold, or sore

throat. The allergic type occurs more frequently among those with allergic conditions. 

When related to allergies, the symptoms are often seasonal.  Allergic conjunctivitis may

also be caused by intolerance to substances such as cosmetics, perfume, or drugs. 

Bacterial conjunctivitis is often caused by bacteria such as staphylococcus and

streptococcus. 

 

The severity of the infection depends on the type of bacteria involved. Someone who

has pinkeye in one eye can also inadvertently spread it to the other eye by touching the

infected eye, then touching the other one. To prevent pinkeye caused by infections,

teach kids to wash their hands often with warm water and soap. They also should not

share eye drops, tissues, eye makeup, washcloths, towels, or pillowcases with other

people.

 

Pinkeye caused by a virus usually goes away on its own without any treatment. If a

doctor suspects that the pinkeye has been caused by a bacterial infection, antibiotic eye

drops or ointment will be prescribed.

 

 

- Retinoblastoma:

 

 

Retinoblastoma - is a cancer of one or both eyes which occurs in young children.

This cancer is very rare, affecting one in every eighteen thousand children and affects

children of all races and both boys and girls. The cause is unknown. We do know that if

your parent had it, then you may inherit the cancer. These cancer cells don’t usually

spread away from the eye.

The retinoblastoma tumor(s) originate in the retina, the light sensitive layer of the eye

which enables the eye to see. When the tumors are present in one eye, it is referred to

as unilateral retinoblastoma, and when it occurs in both eyes it is referred to as bilateral

retinoblastoma. Most cases (75%) involve only one eye (unilateral); the rest (25%) affect

both eyes (bilateral). The majority (90%) of retinoblastoma patients have no family

history of the disease; only a small percentage of newly diagnosed patients have other

family members with retinoblastoma (10%).

 

The most common presenting signs are leukocoria and squint. Leukocoria, or white

pupil, can be seen at certain angles when looking at the child.

 

 

The size of the tumour and the spread of the disease determines the treatment that the

child gets. Treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy,

cryotherapy and/or photocoagulation.

 

For more: http://www.aoa.org/x8066.xml

                    http://retinoblastoma.com/retinoblastoma/

 

 

Spotting Eye Problems

 

Watch your child for evidence of poor vision or eye problems. If you notice any, have

 your child examined immediately so that the problem doesn't become permanent.

The following are some signs that a child may have as an evidence of vision problems:

 

  • constant eye rubbing
  • extreme light sensitivity  
  • poor focusing
  • poor visual tracking (following an object)
  • abnormal alignment or movement of the eyes (after 6 months of age)
  • chronic redness of the eyes
  • chronic tearing of the eyes
  • a white pupil instead of black or milky white covering over the pupil
  • inability to see objects at a distance
  • inability to read the blackboard
  • squinting
  • difficulty reading
  • sitting too close to the TV
  • Crossed eyes
  • Drooping eyelid
  • Pink/red eyes
  • Vibrating Eyes
  • Tilting the head
  • Losing place while reading
  • Covering one eye to read or watch television
  • Finger pointing while reading
  • Frequent headach

                     

                                                  Last Updated 1 \ 10 \ 1432

 

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