Pediatric Ophthalmology is a dedicated super specialty branch of ophthalmology which deals with all the ocular disorders of the children.
Most common disorders include refractive errors, squint, amblyopia, allergic eye diseases etc.
It is very important to detect and treat the disorders in children because if delayed then it can lead to irreversible visual loss. Also because children usually do no complain of any visual problem, it becomes utmost important to have the child examined by a pediatric ophthalmologist.
Most often you will be surprised to find that the child has significant refractive errors inspite of the child being asymptomatic.
Ideally the child has to be examined by the pediatric ophthalmologist between 6 -12 months of age and then at 3 years and at 5 years of age.
AMBLYOPIA (LAZY EYE)
The neuronal network in the brain which is concerned with vision is constantly developing till 7-8 yrs of age. During this period if the brain does not receive clear images from one of the eye, then it starts neglecting the images from that eye & prefers the good eye for seeing. If no intervention is done then this becomes permanent & the vision in the poor eye drops further & the eye becomes amblyopic i.e. it is then not used for seeing.
Gradual progressive deterioration of vision in amblyopic eye:
NORMAL EYE VISION AMBLYOPIC EYE VISION
Amblyopia is treated by occlusion (patching) which involves closing the good eye thus forcing the child to see with the eye with poor vision.
Remember that patching is most effective if started before 8 yrs of age .Earlier the treatment started faster is the visual recovery.
Computerized vision therapy software is now also available for faster and complete recovery of vision in the amblyopic eye