Our children with eye diseases face problems that will be much more difficult to treat as they get older, due to our negligent behaviors caused by our lack of knowledge. On the other hand, positive results are more likely if the problem is correctly detected and treated at an early stage.
Pediatric Ophthalmology Departments
Lazy Eye: Amblyopia
Amblyopia is one of the eye diseases. When a child reaches puberty and can see clearly in both eyes at the same time without strabismus, their vision is typically mature. Lazy eye or vision loss can occur when development, such as slippage, is inhibited. If the disease is detected early, that is, within the first 8-9 years of life, treatment is possible and the patient’s vision can be increased by closing the well-sighted eye.
Because amblyopia rarely causes complaints, having adequate eye disease control during the first three years of life is crucial for diagnosis and treatment. The first examination should preferably be done when the child is about one year old. Early diagnosis, follow-up and closure treatment form the basis of treatment. The family will understand these aspects of treatment when they understand the severity of the situation.
The diagnosis of amblyopia will likely be delayed, especially if there is no strabismus. Awareness that both eyes need different and higher prescription glasses will be delayed. Even if the child is unable to communicate, doctors can determine if he or she needs glasses and if there is strabismus. Also, cataracts, inflammation, tumors and other diseases can cause decreased vision, but they are not limited to lazy eye.
Retinopathy of Prematurity (Eye disease at preterm birth)
ROP is an abbreviation for retinopathy of prematurity, an eye disease caused by being born prematurely (retinopathy of prematurity). The baby is held in a period when the vascularization of the retina in the eye has not yet been completed. As a result, vascularization cannot be completed correctly, resulting in this condition.
How does it occur?
People should understand that ROP is a disease that can lead to blindness. ROP disease affects one in three premature babies. On the other hand, not every baby born prematurely is diagnosed with this catastrophic disease.
The disease usually manifests itself after 32 weeks from the onset of pregnancy. For example, if the baby is born at 29 weeks, the condition will not occur for another three weeks (when the baby has completed 32 weeks). As a result, the first baby eye examination should be done at 32 weeks of age. If the baby is born after 32 weeks, the first examination should be done two weeks after birth.
Tears in Infants
Thirty percent of all newborns do not have fully developed tear ducts. This rate drops to 10% at the end of the first month after it comes into force. On the other hand, there is not much tearing in the eyes during this time as there is usually not a lot of tear secretion in the first month of life. Burrs and watery eyes are signs that a baby’s tear duct is not opening properly. These symptoms, which usually appear towards the end of the first month, are caused by an increase in the volume of tears produced by the eye.
Congenital glaucoma should be investigated as a differential diagnosis when the most serious is watery eyes in the infant. As a result, it is in the best interest of newborns with watery eyes to see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. In approximately 90% of patients with lacrimal canal obstruction, the canal opens on its own at the end of the first year, without the need for any intervention other than a simple massage.
When it is determined that intervention is necessary, probing will be performed by wearing mask anesthesia. The use of probing has a better than ninety percent chance of success. If this practice does not work, an open tear duct can be kept open using a silicone tube inserted into the tear duct.
Strabismus – Crossed Eyes
When we are in our natural environment, our eyes focus on the same point and our axes of vision are parallel to each other. Strabismus is defined by the disruption of parallelism between these axes and the focusing of one eye in one direction and the other in another.
Strabismus is a problem that can affect anyone, even children. During childhood, shifts in vision may have no other known cause or may be associated with other visual impairments (cataracts, eye tumors, or neurological diseases). As a result, an eye exam should be done as soon as the problem is detected.
Most babies may experience strabismus when they are born due to underdevelopment of the nasal roots. As a result, it is a myth to believe that infantile strabismus will improve over time. If such concerns are raised, an ophthalmologist should examine each infant as soon as possible.
All healthy children and full-term children who have reached full-term gestational age should have their first eye test between six months and one year. In addition, a vision exam for three-year-olds is critical for the diagnosis and treatment of amblyopia. When strabismus is detected, the goal of treatment is to complete the normal development of vision that begins in childhood. This is the goal of treatment. Glasses, occlusion therapy and possibly surgery are alternatives to achieve this goal.