Pediatric Ophthalmology
& Adult Strabismus

Good vision develops early in life. A newborn’s vision develops rapidly during the first year. Therefore, early detection of childhood eye diseases and problems is critical so that the risk of permanent visual impairment is minimized.

Eye Exams

Pediatric Ophthalmology | Richmond VA | Chester VA | Petersburg VAVision develops fully in children with little or no special attention. Although eye problems are rare, the majority can be treated if detected at an early age. Children's eye exams at proper age intervals are the key to maintaining your child's healthy vision. The earlier the visual problems are detected, the better the outcome. Virginia Eye Institute physicians partner with pediatricians, family physicians, and school nurses to ensure that when eye problems are detected WE pediatric specialists are able to further evaluate and treat the condition.

What To Look For

If your baby can't make steady eye contact by 2-3 months of age, or seems unable to see, you should consult your pediatrician and ask for a referral to the pediatric ophthalmologists at Virginia Eye Institute. A constant crossing or out-turning of the eyes (sometimes called a "lazy" eye) is usually abnormal; though most babies do occasionally cross their eyes during their first 3 months of life. Babies older than 3 months of age can usually follow or "track" an object with their eyes as it moves from place to place.

» For more information, visit American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, American Association of Certified Orthopists, and American Academy of Pediatrics

Normal Vision Development in Children

Pediatric Ophthalmology | Richmond VA | Chester VA | Petersburg VAThere 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.

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