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kids’ health

ALL ABOUT THE

EYES By Sherry Hang

Unusual behaviors hold the key to detecting a vision issue in your child and treatment is essential.

L

ike anything else when it comes

will be blurry for a few hours.

to children, vision develops and improves as they grow. According

COMMON EYE DISORDERS

to Miles J. Burke, M.D., a pediatric

One in four children will suffer from an eye

EYE SPY Indicators of vision issues in children include:

ophthalmologist in Montgomery, children

disorder, Burke says. The three most common

require “clear visual information sent from

types of issues are refractive errors (problems

both eyes to the brain. If a problem interferes

focusing), amblyopia (poor or improper visual

• Excessive eye rubbing

with clear vision in either or both eyes, the

development of the eye) and strabismus

connections from the eye to the brain may

(misaligned eyes).

• Tilting or turning the head

become weak and the brain will not develop

properly.” In other words, it’s crucial to

and causes eyes to deviate from their normal

keep tabs on your child’s vision as she grows

position, meaning that the eye might turn in,

— especially if you detect something’s not

out, up or down. Although children do not

• Red-rimmed, encrusted, or swollen eyes

right — so you won’t be surprised if your

outgrow strabismus, there are very successful

pediatrician recommends a specialist.

therapies to straighten the eyes. Lots of kids

• Recurring styes

Strabismus is an imbalance of eye muscles

• Stumbling over small objects • Squinting or frowning

A TYPICAL EXAM

Burke), also have amblyopia, which is poor

• Inability to see distant objects clearly

Burke says infants and young children can

vision from a lack of use. For these children,

• Shutting or covering one eye

sit on a parent’s lap during the examination.

a treatment known as “patching” is required,

They’ll identify pictures of common objects

and in addition often requires glasses.

• Blinking more than usual

or letters (for older kids); track a lighted toy

Kids wear a patch over the good eye, which

so the doctor can check visual function; and

encourages the weaker eye to develop better

• Inflamed or watery eyes

be examined with an ophthalmoscope (an

vision. Burke says that patching is typically

• Itching, burning or scratchy eyes

instrument with a bright light) so the doctor

successful, although children may have to

can see inner eye structures. Sometimes kids

utilize the patch for months, possibly even

will have their eyes dilated to provide a better

years, and amblyopia can only be corrected if

view. If that’s the case, be honest and tell

it is treated before age 8.

with strabismus (about half according to

your child it will sting a bit and that his vision

12

August 2016

“Where Every Family Matters.”

• Crossed or wandering eyes

• Reporting of blurred or double vision — Miles J. Burke, M.D.

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Cincinnati Family magazine August 2016

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Cincinnati Family magazine August 2016

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