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Assessing eye problems in children

Parth Shah, Hughie Tsang

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Abstract

The assessment and management of eye problems in children can be challenging. An understanding of common presentations can help guide appropriate referral.

Key Points

  • Examining children’s eyes can be challenging; age-appropriate tests of visual acuity and ocular alignment are required.
  • A child with strabismus requires careful ophthalmic assessment to diagnose the underlying cause.
  • Watery, sticky and/or red eyes are common in children; knowledge of the common causes of each symptom is helpful in guiding the assessment.
  • Most cases of nasolacrimal duct obstruction resolve by 12 months of age.
  • Preseptal cellulitis must be treated aggressively to prevent extension into sight-threatening orbital cellulitis.
  • Amblyopia prevention and treatment remains one of the primary goals when dealing with eye conditions in children.

    Picture credit: © Gilaxia/iStockphoto.com Models used for illustrative purposes only

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