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Slide bar to see the various refractive errors
Pediatric Vision Care
Jeffrey Hunter, M.D. is the only fellowship-trained strabismus ophthalmologist in East Texas. Dr. Hunter specializes in pediatric ophthalmology, glaucoma, strabismus, amblyopia and eye muscle surgery, among many other eye conditions for both children and adults, starting from infants on up.
Strabismus is a condition that interferes with binocular (both eyes) vision when the eyes do not properly align with each other. Strabismus, also commonly known as “crossed eye”, affects approximately 4% of children. Treatment should be started as early as possible to ensure the best possible vision for your child. Treatment may include glasses, contacts, vision therapy or eye muscle surgery.
Amblyopia – is decreased vision in one or both eyes due to abnormal vision development in infancy or childhood. While there may not be obvious problems, vision loss occurs when nerve pathways between the brain and the eye aren’t properly stimulated. As a result, the brain favors one eye, usually due to poor vision in the other eye. This condition is commonly known as “lazy eye” and is the leading cause of vision loss among children. Treatments for amblyopia include glasses or contacts, eye patch or eye drop therapy.
Children’s Eye Injuries
Children who have good vision in only one eye should wear safety glasses for protection at all times, even if they do not need glasses otherwise.
Vision care for children generally addresses two categories: injuries or physical defects. Accidental injuries cause vision loss in far too many cases, and more than half of the victims of eye injuries are children. The answer is prevention, and when there has been an accidental injury, the right kind of first aid or emergency care is the essential first step. Hospital emergency rooms or trauma centers are usually able to provide emergency medical care for eye injuries, but referral to an ophthalmologist should be made to rule out any other complications. Remember that the seriousness of the eye injury may not be immediately obvious.
Children’s Eye Glasses
The most common vision problems treated with eyeglasses are:
Myopia, or nearsightedness, is inherited and often discovered in children when they are eight to twelve years old. A myopic eye is longer than normal, and causes light rays to focus in front of the retina. This causes close objects to look clear, but distant objects to appear blurred.
Hyperopia, or farsightedness, is caused by light entering the eye and focusing behind the retina. A hyperopic eye is shorter than normal. Older people who are farsighted can see far away objects better than those close at hand. Most children are normally a little farsighted but have no problems seeing objects up close or at a distance. Hyperopia needs to be corrected in young people if it causes decreased vision or is associated with crossed eyes.
Astigmatism occurs when light rays enter the eyes and focus at different places on the retina. In a normal eye, the cornea (front surface of the eye) is round, like a basketball. If you have astigmatism, the cornea is shaped more like a football.
Can babies wear eyeglasses?
Of course! Babies’ eyes can be tested even before they can give a verbal response. The ophthalmologist will dilate the baby’s eyes and look inside with special instruments that determine the proper eyeglass prescription.
Which glasses are best for children?
We recommend plastic lenses and plastic frames – especially those frames designed with active children in mind. Children may also need additional pads or straps to keep the glasses properly positioned.
At Home Prevention
Many common household items can cause eye damage when they are used improperly. Therefore, you must take care to:
Sports Injury Prevention
Sports-related eye injuries are increasing each year. Remember to require that your children wear protective safety glasses and specially-designed safety helmets.
Wear a helmet with a polycarbonate eye shield for:
Wear sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses and side shields for: