Little Eyes: Vision in Infants and Young Children
Common Eye Concerns
Parents are often concerned that their newborn’s eyes do not look straight, yet occasional misalignment is normal in infants.
“We don’t expect children’s eyes to look straight or to be used perfectly until about three or four months of age. However, if a child’s eyes are persistently, insistently, and consistently crossed, it is worthwhile to have a pediatrician and perhaps a pediatric eye specialist do an evaluation,” says Granet.
Blockages in the tear drainage system, known as nasal lacrimal duct obstruction, are also fairly common in infants. Parents may recognize this problem when a child’s eyes secrete a goopy discharge.
Fortunately, as the child grows, this conditions tends to disappear spontaneously and the drainage pipe opens naturally. “An estimated 90 percent of tear blockages clear up by the age of one, although some specialists may decide to perform an in-office procedure earlier to make life a little easier for the child and parents,” says Granet.
If a blockage occurs, parents can attempt to clear it by gently massaging the nasal lacrimal system. Antibiotic drops may be prescribed to treat an infection, which can occur when tears do not fully drain, but because the drops do not open the blockage, infections may recur.
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