Children’s Eye Condition
Common problems affecting children include Lazy Eye (Amblyopia), squints (Strabismus), and Watery Eye (Nasolacrimal Duct Obstruction).

Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)

Amblyopia, often known as “lazy eye”, is an early childhood condition where the child’s vision does not develop properly. It usually occurs in one eye, but it can occur in both eyes. Amblyopia affects approximately 2% of children.

Most commonly amblyopia occurs as the result of a squint or because the two have different refractive errors. The latter can lead to poor vision in the absence of a noticeable squint and may not be detected unless vision is specifically tested.
If the problem is detected early, successful treatment is possible and treatment time is shorter. If it is detected after the age of four, the success rate would be very low. Since the child is usually too young to complain of poor vision, this detection requires early checking of the vision by paediatrician or ophthalmologist before three years of age.

Treatments & Suggestions

To correct amblyopia, the child must be forced to use the lazy eye. This is usually done by patching or covering the good eye, often for weeks or months. The patch is usually used with any glasses, which have been prescribed. For the best results when using the patch would be when the child is carrying out detailed work such as reading, writing, drawing, jigsaws, computer games etc.
Wearing a patch is most effective at a young age. By the age of approximately 8, the eyes are fully developed and it becomes difficult to improve the vision.
And Atropine drops are used to blur the sight in the better eye to encourage the weaker eye to work.


Squint (strabismus)

Squint is the common name for ‘strabismus’ which is the medical term used to describe eyes that are not pointing in the same direction. You may have heard it called ‘lazy eye’ or ‘cast’ or according to the direction of the turn of the eye.

Treatments & Suggestions

Strabismus can be corrected with corrective lenses. If symptoms persist after 1 to 2 years, an eye surgery will be necessary.


Watery Eye

The common cause of watery eye in a small child is where the passage that carries the tears away from the eye into the nose (nasolacrimal duct) has not developed normally.

Treatments & Suggestions

The symptoms usually are constant watering of one of both eyes and stickiness or discharge. Normally 9 out of 10 children’s symptoms clear up by themselves by the age of 12 months. However, if a child has significant problems at the age of 12 months, then an operation to clear the blocked duct may be considered.