The Most Common Pediatric Eye Problems

Eye health is as essential for children as it is for adults, so we recommend regular eye exams beginning at six months of age with Dr. Ray Corbin-Simon and our friendly, caring team at In Focus Vision Center & Eyecare in Piscataway, New Jersey. Here are some of the most common pediatric eye problems we treat.

Farsightedness

If your child squints when reading, writing, or using a computer, they may be farsighted. Farsightedness, also called hyperopia, occurs when they can see objects in the distance much better than they can when things are up close. It may be hard for them to focus, and they may get headaches. This common condition may be present at birth, and it does run in families. In some cases, a farsighted child’s eyes can cross due to over focusing.

Nearsightedness

If they have trouble focusing on things in the distance, they may be nearsighted. It’s caused by a longer than normal eyeball or when the cornea is curved too steeply. Nearsightedness, also called myopia, also runs in families.

Astigmatism

Astigmatism is a common eye condition that causes both near and far objects to appear blurry. It’s caused by an irregular curve of the cornea, the outermost layer of the eye. This curve affects how light passses through to the retina, leading to fuzzy vision. It may be present with farsightedness or nearsightedness.

All three of these common pediatric eye problems can be treated with glasses or contact lenses. So, if you’ve noticed your child having difficulty reading, squinting a lot, or getting headaches, bring them in for a comprehensive eye exam.

Lazy eye

Lazy eye, also called amblyopia, is reduced vision in one eye that develops from birth to about age 7. You may notice your child tilting their head a lot or bumping into things from poor depth perception. It can be caused by nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. It can also be caused by a muscle imbalance called strabismus or a drooping eyelid.

A muscle imbalance

When there’s a muscle imbalance in the eye, called strabismus, your child’s eyes may become misaligned. One eye will be turned in a different direction than the other eye. It can be treated with eyeglasses, surgery, or an eye patch. If not treated, it can cause reduced vision in the misaligned eye.

Drooping eyelid

A drooping upper eyelid, called pediatric ptosis, is a muscle weakness that may be present at birth. If your child has a drooping eyelid, the light can’t reach the retina in the back of the eye and images will be blurry. If not treated, it could lead to a loss of vision.

Pediatric cataracts

Cataracts are caused by cloudiness in the lens of the eye that leads to blurred or reduced vision. They can appear at birth or in childhood and can lead to vision loss if not treated. Eyeglasses or an eye patch can help. Severe cases require surgery.

Pediatric glaucoma

Glaucoma is pressure on the eye that can damage the optic nerve and lead to vision loss. While not common, it’s serious and will lead to permanent vision loss. It can be treated with oral medications, eye drops, or surgery.

Blocked tear duct

When tears can’t drain normally because of a full or partially blocked duct, your child’s eye may look watery or irritated. It may even become infected. If your baby is born with it, don’t worry. It usually goes away within the first year. Medication, irrigation, or a special massage technique used on the tear duct may help. Severe blockages that don’t clear up may need a minor surgical procedure to dilate, probe, and flush the blocked duct.


If you suspect your child needs glasses or has any of these conditions, it’s important to make an appointment as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more at risk they are for permanent vision loss. Dr. Corbin-Simon is a skilled pediatric optometrist who will conduct a thorough eye exam and create a personalized treatment plan for your child. Give us a call to schedule an appointment at our convenient Piscataway location today.

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