You want your child to be able to see the world around him without any challenge, but that isn’t always the case. There are a number of pediatric vision issues that might impact your child’s eyesight, including strabismus. This visual defect causes the eyes to be misaligned and point in different directions. Though scary, pediatric strabismus can typically be identified early and treated gently and efficiently.
Why Does Strabismus Happen in Children?
Strabismus is actually a common condition that occurs in nearly four percent of all children in the United States. Some are born with the condition, but others develop it when they are young. Six eye muscles are attached to the outside of each eye to control eye movement. Two muscles move the eye right or left, and four muscles move it up or down. If those muscles cannot stay coordinated and work together, strabismus develops and causes the eyes to look in different directions.
How Can Strabismus Be Detected in Young Children?
Strabismus offers obvious and subtle signs that make it possible to detect the condition in young children. The most noticeable symptom of strabismus is the visual appearance of the eyes failing to line up or move together. The eyes may turn inward, outward, up, or down. Some children demonstrate one of these variations of strabismus constantly, while others only show signs of strabismus when they are tired or looking at something very closely.
A simple eye exam can identify strabismus using techniques like the Bruckner reflex, Hirschberg reflex, or cover test. Pediatricians are the first line of defense for catching signs of strabismus at monthly and yearly medical checkups. It is also recommended that all children over the age of three receive an annual eye exam from an eye doctor to ensure no serious problems exist.
What Treatments Are Available For Pediatric Strabismus?
The good news is that strabismus can be treated with relative ease. The form of strabismus influences the exact treatment. Many children use an eye patch to cover the strong eye and force the weak eye to build stronger muscles. Other children only need eyeglasses to resolve their strabismus. In severe cases, surgery can be completed to reposition eye muscles and help them functional normally.
Since you never want to take chances when it comes to your child’s vision, you should only trust a pediatric ophthalmologist like Dr. Guggino at Guggino Eye in Tampa Bay to treat your child’s strabismus. Call (813) 773-3061 today to get started.