An Introduction to Pediatric Eye Problems Cross, Wandering, and Lazy Eyes

Unlike adults, children cannot always describe exactly what is bothering them. This can be a major problem, especially when it comes to eye problems that interrupt learning, diminish confidence, and cause discomfort. Crossed, wandering, and lazy eye conditions are three of the most common to affect young children. By recognizing their symptoms, you will know to seek early treatment so that your child does not have to be held back by his eyesight.

Crossed Eyes (Esotropia)

This type of strabismus is used to describe eyes that are not properly aligned. The misalignment might occur vertically or horizontally. Some children have crossed eyes from the time they are born, while others acquire it in their younger years. It is essential that a pediatric eye doctor have the opportunity to determine the cause of crossed eyes as early as possible. Potential causes include a poorly seeing eye, an injured eye, an eye with a serious disease, or even the presence of a neurological problem. This sounds frightening, but fortunately most cases of crossed eyes aren’t serious and can be treated easily and rapidly. The sooner an eye doctor can make a diagnosis and recommend treatment, the more efficiently a child can recover.

Wandering Eye (Exotropia)

A wandering eye is different than crossed eyes because a wandering eye that moves too far in an outward direction. Just like crossed eyes, wandering eye has the potential to develop at birth or any time after. Though the cause of exotropia is usually benign and easily treated with glasses, patching, or surgery, the condition has been caused by neurological disorders and serious ocular diseases in some children, so prompt medical care is critical.

Lazy Eye

Lazy Eye, also known as amblyopia, is another example of the eyes not directing themselves in the proper direction. Amblyopia occurs in eyes with normal and healthy structures that simply cannot see as strongly as they should. Common causes of lazy eye include unequal focusing ability between the two eyes, poor alignment, cataracts, and glaucoma. It’s rare, but some children are actually born with cataracts and glaucoma. Placing a patch over the normal eye to force the weaker eye to function better is the most common treatment for lazy eye.

Your child’s vision health is just as important as his physical and emotional health, so don’t wait to seek the advice of an ophthalmologist if you suspect your child has one of the above conditions. Guggino Eye is a Tampa Bay Eye Clinic that offers exceptional state-of-the-art eye care to help children regain and maintain strong and reliable eyesight. Call (813) 773-3061 now to make an appointment.