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Pediatric Ophtholmology Information

Pediatric Ophtholmology
Frequently Asked Questions About Children's Eye Care
Amblyopia
Common Eye Problems
Facts and Myths
Related Publications


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Did you know that finding out about common eye problems is as easy as 1, 2, 3?

 

1. Things to do if there is an eye injury:

Don't panic. Appropriate treatment of an eye injury immediately following trauma can prevent loss of sight Assess the situation, administer first aid to the best of your ability, and then seek prompt attention from an ophthalmologist or emergency room. Never apply pressure to the injured eye or rub any speck that is in it. If something has splashed or squirted into the eye, the most important thing to do first is irrigate copiously under a water faucet before sending for other treatment. For serious injuries, protect the eye from further trauma by taping a styrofoam or paper cup over it as a shield before sending the child for emergency care.

2. Major eye infections you will see in school:

Conjunctivitis (pink eye) - Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, a transparent, thin membrane which covers the white part of the eye (the sclera). The conjunctiva contains many fine blood vessels which become very prominent when they are inflamed, making the normally white part of the eye appear pink or red. The most common causes of conjunctivitis are infections, allergies, and environmental irritants. Infections causing conjunctivitis are usually quite contagious, while allergies and irritants are not. Bacterial infections often are associated with considerable amounts of pus. Viral infections usually produce a watery discharge. The typical kind of conjunctivitis seen in the school setting is viral. A common misconception is that viral conjunctivitis is no longer contagious after twenty-four hours of antibiotic eye drops. This is not true! Like a virus which causes colds, antibiotics by mouth or eye drops will not resolve this infection, which usually lasts from one to two weeks. Frequent hand washing and avoiding contact with infected tears are the best ways to prevent spread of infectious conjunctivitis. Of course, any red eye which does not resolve, or is associated with significant pain, blurred vision, or severe light sensitivity may represent a more serious eye condition which should be evaluated by an ophthalmologist.

Chalazion (stye) - A chalazion is an inflammation of an eyelid oil gland which appears as a lump on an eyelid. A stye is actually an inflammation of a different type of gland on the eyelid, but also looks like a cystic swelling. While they may be tender and red, chalazia and styes are not contagious and often resolve on their own. Treatment may involve warm compresses, eye drops, or surgical drainage.

3. Main reason why children wear glasses:

Blurry vision - Glasses are prescribed when nearsightedness, astigmatism, or significant farsightedness causes blurry vision which interferes with daily activities such as seeing the blackboard or reading. They are also prescribed to prevent and treat amblyopia in the case where there is a large difference in power between the eyes, such as when one eye is very nearsighted or farsighted and the other is not.

Straightening the eyes - For children who have crossed eyes, glasses correcting their farsightedness will often straighten ocular alignment. In this case, glasses must be worn full time, since when they are removed, the eyes will usually turn inward. Over time, gradual changes in the prescription may allow good alignment even without glasses.

Protection - Children who have good vision in only one eye should wear safety glasses for protection of the better eye at all times. A Joint Policy Statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Ophthalmology strongly recommends appropriate polycarbonate protective lenses in eyewear for all athletes.

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Pediatric Ophtholmology Information

Pediatric Ophtholmology
Frequently Asked Questions About Children's Eye Care
Amblyopia
Common Eye Problems
Facts and Myths
Related Publications