PEDIATRIC EYE CARE SERVICES
- Children’s eye care services at RJN are unique in providing complete spectrum of pediatric services to children aged below 16 years.
- Well recognized as one of the best services in Central India.
- Only Pediatric Eye Care Service provider in the region.
- The specialists here are dedicated to the development of special techniques for examining and treating children’s eye diseases.
- The most common childhood eye diseases screened and treated are congenital cataract, Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), congenital glaucoma, strabismus, trauma, amblyopia and refractive error.
- Visual Acuity testing using age matched test charts
- Binocular single vision and stereopsis tests
- Strabismus evaluation
- Hess Chart
- Orthoptic exercises
- Applanation tonometry
- Cataract surgeries of pediatric patients
- Strabismus correction (for children and adults)
- Corrective procedures for nystagmus and paralytic strabismus
- Botulinum injection for squint
- Pediatric Glaucoma surgery (Trabeculectomy with Trabeculectomy / Glaucoma shunt)
- Pediatric Oculoplasty-Ptosis
- Correction, Dacrocystorhinostomy
- Surgical Management of Pediatric ocular trauma
- Examination under anesthesia
Team – Pediatric Deparment
- Dr. Kamalpreet Likhari– Senior Consultant
- Dr. Abhijit Suresh Rasal – Consultant
“Eye care in children is different from adults”
Eye Doctors for children are distinctive and trained differently because the type of eye diseases that affect children are different from adults and require different kind of instruments to diagnose and treat.
What are the common eye diseases in children?
Although any eye disease that affects an adult can affect a child’s eye; most common eye diseases in children are squinting of eyes, refractive error, lazy eye disease, watering from the eye, eye allergies, retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), eye injuries and some tumors.
- Squint (Crossed Eyes)
When the child’s eyes are not straight or aligned with each other it is called Squint. Squint can be corrected with glasses, eye exercises and surgery .Majority of patients require an operation, which is very safe and can be done even in a child of 6 months age.
If the surgery is required it should be done in most cases as soon as possible after the squint is noticed to avoid any irreversible damage to three-dimensional vision.
Motivate your children with praise instead of criticism
- Refractive error (Eye glasses)
When the rays of the light do not focus on retina in an eye it is said to have a refractive error. Nearly 20-30% children who live in & around the cities have near- sightedness or far sightedness or similar eye problems. They can be detected easily even in a child who is 3 months old. If not treated in time it may lead to irreversible loss of vision. It is recommended that even a seemingly ‘normal’ child should be examined by an eye surgeon by the age of three years (before he/ she go to the kindergarten).
- Amblyopia (Lazy eyes)
When a child has poor vision in one or both eyes due to the uncorrected refractive error or squint or due to the inability of the light to reach the interior (retina) of the eye, it is called as ‘Lazy eye’.
This disease can be treated with very satisfying results by patching therapy or instillation of medicines. Most important issue is to diagnose and treat the condition in time.
- Developmental cataract
Cataract in children is less common but not rare. In a small minority the cause can be found and the future progeny can be saved from developing it. Once diagnosed, a child with cataract is likely to require the cataract surgery. If the cataract surgery is performed at the earliest, excellent vision can be achieved The delay in operating leads to poor results. We at RJN have an excellent set up for the management of childhood-cataract including the general- anesthesia facility and an experienced pediatric eye surgeon.
- Allergic Conjunctivitis
Allergic eye diseases are very common in young children. The affected child will usually have excessive itching, redness and stickiness of the eye. A major concern in the treatment is recurrence upon stopping the treatment.
Repeated washing of the eyes with plain water, avoiding excessive dust by wearing protective glasses and avoiding sunlight by wearing a beaked cap will help. Some children require topical medicines like drops & ointments for a long time.
- Eye disease of premature children (Retinopathy of Prematurity)
A child born before 32 weeks of pregnancy or whose weight at birth is less than 1500 grams is at a high risk of developing a blinding eye disease of the retina.
Such children should be examined with in 4 weeks of their birth or 32 weeks after conception which ever is earlier. Many eyes can be saved from a lifelong blindness by timely examination and treatment. Treatment in early stages is simple with lasers. It is an absolute must to examine these children before it is too late!!
- Watering of eyes (Congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction)
This is a common condition in children. The tube that connects the eye to the nose is blocked. In more than 90% children it spontaneously gets cured with massage and antibiotic eye drops by one year of age.
In a small number (10%) of children a cleaning procedure called syringing may be required to find out the level of the block which is usually at the end of the tube (nasolacrimal duct) and can be opened with the help of a probe .The child may have recurrent episodes of infection as long as the obstruction persists and is treated with topical antibiotics as and when required.
Infant with both sides nasolacrimal duct obstruction
What to look for to detect eye disease in children?
Children’s eyes change rapidly and a problem can occur at any age. That is why it is important to observe your child’s eyes and to pay attention to how your child acts and what he or she says.
How the eyes appear?
Anything unusual in the way your child’s eyes appear can be a sign of a problem. Watch out for the following:
- Eyes that cross or one eye that turns in or out, or up or down.
- One eye that seems different in some way, such as a larger or smaller.
- Eyes that look crusty, swollen or red.
- Eyes that water a lot.
- Any discharge, bleeding, or red bumps on the eyelids.
- A pupil that shows a white rather than a red reflection in a color photograph.
How the child sees?
Unusual behavior can sometimes be a sign of an eye problem. Watch your child for any of the following warning signs:
- Closing one eye or turning or tilting the head to see the things.
- Squinting to see things in the distance.
- Not seeing things you point out.
- Consistently holding objects close to the face or sitting very close to the TV (most children do this sometimes) , blinking or rubbing one eye a lot.
* Running into objects or falling down at night or in places that aren’t well lit.
Once your child is of school going age, he or she may be able to tell you about eye problems. Check out for the following:
- Not seeing the chalkboard at the school.
- Things looking blurry.
- Eyes that itch, burn or feel scratchy.
- Getting hit in the eye, or getting something in one eye.
- One or both eyes hurting or pain in or around one or both eyes.
- Light making the eyes hurt.
What to do if you suspect your child has an eye problem?
Childhood eye problems don’t go away on their own, but most won’t damage sight if treated early. Take your child to an eye doctor or to your pediatrician as soon as you spot a problem. Your doctor can check your child’s eyes at any age.
Preparing your child for an eye exam
Your child may be afraid of an eye exam and may not cooperate. You can help by telling your child what to expect:
- There would not be any shots.
- The doctor may put drops in your eyes. The drops may sting for a few seconds and your vision may get a little blurry, but this will go away shortly.
- The doctor shines a light in your eyes to see inside them.
- The doctor asks you to name pictures or letters or point to things. You may wear special glasses or sit at a big machine.
Pay attention to your child’s eyes and behavior. Take your child for a yearly examination after birth, then at 4 months and their after one year.
Correcting vision problems early is the best way to correct your child’s sight.