Pediatric Eye Care
At Southern Eye Group, we understand that your child’s vision is an important part of their overall development. Our dedicated team of pediatric eye care specialists is committed to providing comprehensive and compassionate care for young patients in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and throughout the Gulf Coast. From routine eye exams to the management of complex eye conditions, we offer a range of services to care for your child’s vision and eye health.
Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)
Amblyopia, commonly referred to as a “lazy eye,” is a condition where one eye has weaker vision than the other. Early detection and treatment are vital to prevent long-term vision problems. Treatment options may include patching the stronger eye, eye drops, or vision therapy to strengthen the weaker eye.
Strabismus (Crossed or Misaligned Eyes)
Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes are misaligned, causing one eye to turn inwards, outwards, upwards, or downwards. Treatment may involve eye exercises, glasses, or surgery to correct the alignment of the eyes and improve binocular vision.
Refractive errors such as Myopia (Nearsightedness), Hyperopia (Farsightedness), and Astigmatism are common vision problems. Children with refractive errors do not always realize that the way they see the world is impaired, which is why pediatric vision screenings are so important. Our pediatric specialists can assess refractive errors and prescribe eyeglasses to help your child see clearly.
Failed Vision Screening
If your child fails a vision screening at school or during a pediatric checkup, it’s essential to schedule a comprehensive eye exam. Our pediatric eye doctors can identify the underlying issues and recommend appropriate treatment or corrective measures.
Blocked Tear Ducts
Blocked tear ducts can cause excessive tearing and discomfort in infants and young children. In fact, up to 20% of babies are born with blocked tear ducts. Depending on the severity, treatment options range from simple massage and warm compresses to surgical procedures to open the ducts.
Dacryoadenitis is the inflammation of the lacrimal gland, which produces tears. Symptoms of this condition include swelling or redness of the eyelid, excessive tearing, and pain. Dacryoadenitis can be caused by a systemic inflammatory condition or an infection. Treatment may include antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications to address the underlying cause.
Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
Conjunctivitis is a commonly occurring eye infection. Specifically, it is an infection or inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the clear membrane covering the white part of the eye. Often called “pink eye”, it can be caused by viral or bacterial infections, as well as allergic reactions. Treatment may involve antibiotics, antiviral medications, or anti-allergy eye drops, depending on the underlying cause.
Droopy Eyelids (Ptosis)
Droopy eyelids in children, also known as congenital ptosis, can be caused by a variety of factors. One common cause is a developmental issue in the muscle that is responsible for lifting the eyelid. Additionally, nerve damage or genetic factors can contribute to this condition.
Treatment options for pediatric ptosis depend on its severity and the underlying cause. In mild cases, observation and monitoring may be sufficient, as some children’s eyelids may improve as they grow. However, surgical intervention, known as ptosis repair surgery, is often necessary for moderate to severe cases
Uveitis is an inflammation of the uvea, which includes the iris, ciliary body, and choroid. In many cases, it may be associated with autoimmune disorders like juvenile idiopathic arthritis, infections such as herpes or toxoplasmosis, or trauma to the eye. Uveitis can also occur without an apparent trigger.
Prompt treatment of pediatric uveitis is important. Treatments may include anti-inflammatory medications or biologic therapies to control inflammation.
Cataracts are a clouding of the eye’s natural lens. While often associated with older age, cataracts can occur in children. Pediatric cataracts in children can be congenital (present at birth) or acquired. This condition can occur as a result of metabolic disorders, trauma, infections, or genetic predispositions.
Early intervention and coordinated care by pediatric ophthalmologists are essential for the best possible outcomes in these young patients. Surgical removal of the cataract and implantation of an intraocular lens may be necessary to restore clear vision.
Pediatric glaucoma is a rare but serious eye condition characterized by increased intraocular pressure. The excess pressure within the eye can damage the optic nerve and cause permanent vision loss. Early detection and treatment of pediatric glaucoma is important. There are no early symptoms, but this condition can be diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam.
Treatment of pediatric glaucoma primarily aims to lower intraocular pressure and preserve vision. This typically involves a combination of medications, often in the form of eye drops, and surgical interventions such as trabeculotomy or trabeculectomy to improve the drainage of aqueous humor.
Retinoblastoma is a rare and aggressive eye cancer that primarily affects young children, typically under the age of five. Symptoms may include:
- A white pupil (often referred to as “cat’s eye” or leukocoria)
- Crossed eyes, poor vision
- Eye redness or swelling
Like many childhood eye diseases, early diagnosis is critical. There are many advanced treatments available to preserve vision, including laser therapy, chemotherapy, cryotherapy, and surgery.
At Southern Eye Group, we prioritize the vision health of your child. Our team is dedicated to providing the best possible care for pediatric eye conditions. If you suspect any vision problems or have concerns about your child’s eye health, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with our experienced pediatric eye specialists.
1 Perez Y, Patel BC, Mendez MD. Nasolacrimal Duct Obstruction. [Updated 2021 Aug 11]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK532873/. Accessed September 20, 2023
The doctors at Southern Eye Group have either authored or reviewed and approved this content.