Common Childhood Visual Problems

The three most common types of ocular problems in children are misaligned eyes (strabismus), lazy eye (amblyopia), and refractive errors (focusing problems).

Strabismus means eyes are pointed in different directions. After four months of age, all infants should have straight eyes. One eye may drift in or out, up or down. Strabismus may be present all of the time or intermittently and children are usually unaware of the problem. Strabismus interferes with the development of the coordinated use of both eyes together and can be treated with early intervention. If not treated, permanent muscle imbalance, progression to permanent loss of vision and loss of depth of perception may result.

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Amblyopia, or lazy eye, is the development of poor vision in one or both eyes. It occurs in infancy into early childhood during visual development. In late childhood, visual loss due to amblyopia is no longer a substantial threat. The earlier amblyopia is detected, the easier it is to treat. If not treated, permanent visual loss, poor depth perception, progressive strabismus and/or double vision may result.

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Dr. Fredrick on Amblyopia

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