STRABISMUS & AMBLYOPIA
Strabismus is the medical term for eyes that are crossed, sometimes known as a “squint”. During the childhood years it is especially important to detect and treat crossed eyes in order to prevent a child from developing amblyopia (more commonly known as “lazy eye”), a condition in which vision does not develop properly.
From the ages of infancy up to the early teenage years, the visual system is still developing, but this process requires clear visual input from the eyes. Anything that causes the eyes not to see clearly thus prevents the visual system from developing properly in a child and can cause amblyopia. Some common causes include strabismus, high refractive error (astigmatism, farsightedness, or nearsightedness), and infantile cataracts.
Doctors are able to perform tests to check a child’s eyes and visual system even if the child does not speak or read yet. Remember, kids are not able to tell you whether they are seeing blurry because they do not know what is considered “normal”. Bring your kids in for a routine eye exam without waiting for a teacher to tell you something is wrong!