Pediatric Eye Care

Many children experience the same vision problems as adults, including nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, as well as congenital vision conditions such as amblyopia (lazy eye) and strabismus (crossed eyes), which can significantly affect proper vision development. Young children may be unaware of the fact that they are experiencing abnormal vision, which is why regular exams and early detection are essential in maintaining healthy eyes for your child.

At Premier Eye Care & Surgery, we have a team of pediatric doctors who provide treatments for:

  • Amblyopia
  • Strabismus
  • Congenital Cataracts
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Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)

Amblyopia, also known as lazy eye or drifting eye, is a visual development disorder that typically begins in infancy or early childhood. Patients with lazy eye can have impaired vision in one or both eyes because the lazy eye does not stay focused. Although only one eye is usually affected, overall vision can suffer.

Symptoms of Lazy Eye

  • Wandering eye
  • Crossed eyes (strabismus)
  • Squinting
  • Tilting of the head to see
  • Poor depth perception
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Causes of Lazy Eye

If the visual signals and focus in one eye are not clear, the good eye will take over the vision process and ignore the other eye. The lazy eye will become weak and vision in that eye will suffer. There are a number of reasons why lazy eye can occur:

Symptoms of Lazy Eye

  • Different refractive errors in each eye
  • Misalignment of the eyes
  • Imbalance of eye muscles (strabismus)
  • Droopy eyelids (ptosis)
  • Cataracts

Treatment for Lazy Eye in Illinois

Prescription glasses typically will not correct amblyopia. Instead, a simple patch treatment to force the brain to use the weak eye is very effective. The strong eye is covered with a patch so the weak eye must work hard to allow clear vision. This process may take weeks or months; it’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions to achieve the quickest results.

We recommend that parents start our lazy eye treatment before age 8 while the visual system is still developing. Any vision loss due to lazy eye after this age may be permanent.

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Strabismus (Crossed Eyes)

Strabismus, also known as crossed eyes, is a visual development disorder that starts in childhood but can also affect adults. When the eyes do not work together to focus on an image, one eye may take on the dominant vision role, leading to amblyopia or lazy eye. This can be a constant or intermittent condition and it can affect one or both eyes.

Symptoms of Crossed Eyes

  • One eye drifts in a different position (out, in, up or down)
  • Double vision
  • Clear vision in one only eye
  • Poor depth perception
  • Lazy eye
  • Headaches
  • Eye strain
  • Eye fatigue
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Causes of Crossed Eyes

The cause of strabismus in children can be due to:

Symptoms of Lazy Eye

  • Poor eye muscle control
  • Problems with the nerves that transmit information
  • Genetics
  • Significant farsightedness
  • Medical conditions such as Down syndrome

Adults can also develop this condition from:

  • Stroke
  • Head or eye injury
  • Diabetes
  • Eye disease
  • Other health issues

Treatment for Crossed Eyes in Illinois

If you or your child is suffering from crossed eyes, this condition will not correct itself. It is important to seek treatment promptly to correct the condition. Our team can provide a variety of treatment options, depending on the cause and severity of your (or your child’s) eye misalignment:

We recommend that parents start our lazy eye treatment before age 8 while the visual system is still developing. Any vision loss due to lazy eye after this age may be permanent.

  • Prescription glasses to correct a refractive error
  • Prism lenses to alter how light enters the eye
  • Eye patch to correct lazy eye
  • Vision therapy to help the brain control alignment and visual processing
  • Surgery to alter the eye muscles
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Congenital Cataracts

Cataracts, an eye condition that is normally associated with an aging eye, can actually be present at birth. What this means is that the child’s eye lens is cloudy instead of clear. One or both pupils may appear cloudy or grey-colored. This haze can interfere with vision and even lead to lazy eye or strabismus as the child moves through the eye development process.

If the cataract is small or located on the peripheral of the lens and is not affecting central vision, your child may be able to live and function normally with the cataract. However, if the cataract is significant, it may be wise to consider pediatric cataract surgery. The doctor would remove the lens and replace it with a clear Intraocular Lens (IOL). Less invasive treatment options may be more suitable to ensure normal eye growth and development.

Causes of Congenital Cataracts

  • Trauma
  • Family history of cataracts
  • Infections during pregnancy
  • Tetracycline antibiotic given during pregnancy
  • Disease such as diabetes
  • Metabolic problems
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If you notice that your child is exhibiting any symptoms of an eye condition, contact us today to schedule an eye exam: (847) 459-6060 (Buffalo Grove office) or (847) 382-4116 (Barrington office). We can perform an exam to identify the root problem, fully explain the different treatment options and make recommendations for your child’s vision.