Eye problems in children may have different clinical findings than those seen in adults, and late diagnosis is a common situation when it occurs before the child can express himself and communicate. Pediatric eye diseases include many disease spectrums where treatment effectiveness is greater when diagnosed at early stages. At the beginning of these diseases; Eye infections, tear duct obstructions, refractive errors and eye movement disorders, which are also common in adults, include.
The Most Common Pediatric Eye Diseases
Eye diseases seen in children may appear from birth or It may be acquired (acquired) in later years. Most of the childhood eye diseases seen from birth are hereditary. However, sometimes it may not have a hereditary basis. Some childhood eye diseases (such as visual disorders called refractive errors, tear duct obstructions, some optic nerve diseases) are not present at birth but may develop later. Pediatric eye diseases; It causes functional problems in the eye, depending on the structurally affected area.
Lazy eye is one of the most important eye diseases that occurs at a young age. If left untreated, this disease results in permanent vision loss. Once amblyopia is detected, eliminating the factor causing amblyopia is the first step in treatment. Non-surgical rehabilitation options such as closing the healthy eye are used in the treatment of amblyopia in children. The purpose of closure treatment is; By closing the healthy eye, the visual stimulus is perceived by the lazy eye and thus the visual function is stimulated through the visual pathways in this eye.
Strabismus is the disruption of the required parallelism between the two eyes. While this situation can be detected by parents, the shift can sometimes be noticed by a pediatrician. However, some types of hidden vision can be detected with a detailed eye examination. Strabismus in children is a childhood eye disease for which early diagnosis is important, as it is one of the important factors that cause amblyopia. is.
Tear Duct Occlusion
Another important eye disease seen in children is the obstruction of the tear ducts. This situation is especially common in newborn babies. It causes symptoms such as burring, watering and discharge. In babies with suspected tear duct obstruction, these ducts are opened with the help of a massage prescribed by the ophthalmologist and applied until the baby's 1st year of age. If it does not open, surgical intervention is performed after the age of one.
Congenital cataract is an important eye disease that requires urgent treatment in babies. The pupil, which is normally black, appears white in these babies due to cataracts. In this case of leukocoria, it is necessary to consult an ophthalmologist without wasting any time. Congenital cataracts may occur due to infections during pregnancy, some metabolic-syndromic diseases or hereditary causes.
Myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism, which are common in children and called refractive errors; It is one of the causes of low vision that can be treated by using glasses.
These problems may be congenital or may appear later in children. In particular, myopia (farsightedness) is a type of refractive error with a high hereditary rate.
Causes of Eye Diseases in Children
The causes of eye diseases in children can be classified as congenital or acquired. Congenital causes may be due to heredity (genetic transmission), or they may be seen from birth without a hereditary basis. Acquired pediatric eye diseases include eye disorders that accompany a second underlying disease or problems that occur with changes in the eye structure over time.
Child eye diseases classified as acquired include: Eye problems caused by screen exposure have become more common lately. With developing technology, it has been observed that various acquired eye problems develop in children as well as adults. Especially in recent years, increased close-range visual stimuli from phones, tablets and computers have caused the anteroposterior diameter of the eye to increase. It causes elongation of the eye and spasm of the over-adapted eye muscles. Problems such as dry eyes and difficulty seeing far away (myopia) are among the leading technology-related acquired eye diseases in children. Therefore, it is important to reduce screen exposure time as much as possible in the childhood age group.
Symptoms of Eye Diseases in Children
Eye diseases in children show different clinical findings than adults. Following these well is important in diagnosing diseases. The most common symptoms of eye diseases in children
Looking closely at television or books
Looking with head tilted to one side
It can be listed as inability to focus the gaze.
Headache in Children and Its Causes
Although headache is generally thought of as a health problem seen in adults, it is actually a very common problem in children. Although neurological problems first come to mind when headaches are mentioned, some eye diseases also cause headaches in children. We can say that headaches in children are an important symptom in diagnosing eye diseases. The most common causes of headaches in children can be listed as acute or chronic sinusitis, refractive errors, and neurological diseases accompanied by increased intracranial pressure.
Additional clinical findings seen with headache guide the physician to the cause of the pain and diagnose it. Some tests are used for Headache in children; Ear, Nose and Throat diseases are handled in a multi-disciplinary manner by Ophthalmologists and Pediatric Neurology physicians.
Diagnosis of Eye Diseases in Children
While some of the devices used in adults can also be used for children, in some cases special Inspection methods can also be used. Early diagnosis of eye diseases in children is of great importance for the effectiveness of treatment. For this reason, regular eye examinations are recommended even if children have no complaints.