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Focus and alignment disorders that affect vision in children
There are many eye conditions and diseases that can affect a child’s vision. Some of the more common focus and alignment disorders and eye diseases are listed below. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to maintaining your child’s eye health. If any of the following conditions is suspected, the child will need to be examined by a pediatric ophthalmologist
. Amblyopia (“lazy eye”):
What it is:
Amblyopia 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. Amblyopia is common and affects two or three of every 100 people in the U.S. What to look for:
Amblyopia can be a result of strabismus (misaligned eyes). One eye may look straight ahead while the other turns in, out, up or down. The eye turn may be constant or may be occasional or intermittent. Signals from the misaligned eye are “turned off” by the brain to avoid double vision, so the child uses only the better-seeing eye. Strabismus affects about 4 percent of children in the U.S. Amblyopia can result from eye problems other than strabismus as well.
What to do:
If it seems that the vision in one of the child’s eyes is significantly better (or weaker) than the other, the child needs to be examined by an Eye M.D. (ophthalmologist). Cataract ("cloudy" eyes):
If the surface of the eye, which is normally clear, instead appears cloudy, the child may have a cataract or childhood eye disorder
that needs treatment. Ptosis (“droopy eyelids”):
Ptosis involves a drooping upper eyelid that covers the eye either somewhat or entirely, and so blocks vision.