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Children’s Eye Health

Pinkeye / Conjunctivitus

Pinkeye is Conjunctivitis, it is an inflammation of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the thin clear tissue that lies over the white part of the eye and lines the inside of the eyelid.

It is very common amongst children and is highly contagious and can spread rapidly at schools. When you take care to prevent its spread and do all the things your doctor recommends, pinkeye clears up with no long-term damage.

Viral conjunctivitis can be caused by a common cold, bacterial conjunctivitis by bacteria or allergic conjunctivitis by eye irritants such as pollen, dust and animal dander among susceptible individuals.


Chalazion looks like a small lump on the eyelid and may occur when a meibomian gland (an oil-secreting gland in the eyelid) becomes clogged. It is not caused by infection.


A sty looks like a red, sore lump near the edge of the eyelid; it is caused by an infected eyelash follicle.

Preseptal or orbital cellulitis

Cellulitis is an infection related to trauma, an upper respiratory infection or an eyelid infection.

What to look for:

The tissues around the eye appear red and painfully swollen. The condition usually occurs in one eye, which may be swollen shut. The child may have a fever. More serious pre-septal or orbital cellulitis infections can cause decreased vision, an inability to move the eye, and the appearance of the eye being pushed forward.

What to do:

Both forms of cellulitis are serious conditions that require urgent medical attention. Take the child to a primary care doctor or another qualified health professional who will co-manage the child’s treatment with an ophthalmologist.

Blocked tear duct

A blocked tear duct is when the eye’s drainage system for tears is either partially or completely obstructed. Tears cannot drain normally, causing a watery, irritated or chronically infected eye. What to look for: Symptoms of a blocked tear duct may include watery eyes or tears running out of the eyes.

What to do:

A baby can be born with a blocked tear duct, but the condition usually resolves on its own within the first year of life. In some cases, your ophthalmologist may recommend that you use a special massage technique to help open up the membrane covering the lower opening into your baby’s nose. He or she will demonstrate how to correctly do this massage.

Lazy Eye

Amblyopia is poor vision in an eye that did not develop vision normally in childhood. It’s also called “lazy eye.”

A child can get amblyopia when they do not get treated for problems like refractive errors, strabismus (misaligned eyes), droopy eyelids or cataracts.


Annual Eye Exam

Generally speaking, it is advised that children should have an eye exam at birth, at 6 months, 3 years and then again before starting school.

These eye exams will help with the early detection of any possible vision problems that may result or contribute to developmental delays or educational impediments

In your 20’s and 30’s eye exams should be conducted periodically. After 40 more frequent check-ups are advised however regular follow-ups are dependant on your health and from 65 and older, patients should see their ophthalmologist every year.

However, if you experience any vision-related problems or abnormalities you should see your ophthalmologist immediately.

These may include:

  • A serious eye injury
  • Bulging eyes
  • Inability to see out of the sides of your eyes
  • Irregular tearing in the eyes
  • Lack of eye alignment
  • Red eyes
  • Seeing halo
  • Eye pain
  • Loss of peripheral vision


Common Eye
Disease Symptoms



Refractive Errors /
LASIK surgery


Diseases of
the lens

Optic Nerve


Eye Health

Common Optical Terminology