Feature Article

Assessing eye problems in children

Parth Shah, Hughie Tsang



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.

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