A pediatrician is a doctor who specializes in the care of young children, and a specialist who treats young kids with eye-related problems is called pediatric ophthalmologist. Subsequently, the respective medical field is called Paediatric Ophthalmology. The need for a special branch of ophthalmology for children arises due to the fact that their needs regarding eye care are different from that of adults. They are still growing and have not settled on any stage of development, their visual disorders are different and have evolving eye-to-brain coordination. All of these reasons demand an extra emphasis on their requirements.
It is crucial to be attentive to children’s eye care when their eye-brain connections are still developing and strengthening. Any problem at this stage has the potential to permanently hindering their future visual capabilities. Different disorders and anomalies can cause various types of problems including the need for prescription eyewear, change in dietary habits, to development of a Squint or misalignment of eyes. It is better to prevent all these problems before they mature into full-blown visual damage, or identify and tackle the symptoms early on.
Here are some of the most widely recognized and common symptoms observed in children who experience difficulties related to eyes, vision and the functioning of their sensory system in regards to sight:
One easily noticeable symptom is when kids start to have difficulties in reading what is written on blackboards in school and sometimes even have trouble writing something in their notebooks.
Overtly, it is easy to recognize a physical symptom such as misalignment of the eyes, a Squint in the eyes, drooping eyelids or any other physical deformity around the eyes that look like they affect the vision.
Children often feel much more discomfort as compared to adults who have a higher tolerance for pain or irritation. Any signs of frequent headaches along with watery & red eyes, recurring inflammation or irritation in the eyes, should not be dismissed easily.
Easy susceptibility to different types of eye infections is also a very clear indicator that a more detailed eye check-up is required for the child.
Like it is the case with many other disorders, some of the disorders regarding the sense of sight are also hereditary in nature. If one has a family history of eye-related disorders or is in need of corrective glasses, it is entirely possible that the same problems may manifest in children.
A squint or strabismus often develops in young kids when the eye muscles don’t work properly to move the eyes in a parallel manner. Commonly understood as cross-eyed, the image perceived by the squint eye is ignored by the brain which leads to a condition called Amblyopia (Lazy Eye) in children.
While strabismus in adults can be cured, it does not go away on its own in children. Treatment to improve the balance of eye muscles and to improve squint should be taken as soon as possible.
Sanjeev Netralaya has a great Paediatric Ophthalmology team and provides treatment like strabismus surgery with the best of the facilities. Depending upon the type of strabismus, correct consultation and care are suggested for patients.
Along with full eye check-ups, there are a number of services provided at our centers across the country: