Paediatric Ophthalmologists at Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai address eye health care for Children
Dubai, UAE, 19 September 2021: Children have their own set of eye diseases that are at times different from what we see among adults. According to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, Children with a vision impairment often achieve poorer outcomes.
Specialised ophthalmologists in children’s eyes care at Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai have compiled a list of ten of the most common pediatric eye problems that parents and teachers need to be aware of so any symptoms can be spotted and resolved in the early stages.
- Refractive errors: This is the most common pediatric eye condition easily treated with glasses. It can be myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism, so children might squint, blink or just give up on seeing.
- Strabismus: This happens when the eyes are not aligned together, with one or both eyes drifting or crossing. This can be congenital or acquired; it is usually treated with glasses or surgery.
- Viral conjunctivitis: Eyes are red, watery and have purulent discharge. Being contagious, it involves one eye and then spreads to the other. Observation is usually the rule as most will resolve uneventfully within 4-10 days.
- Allergic conjunctivitis: Typically involves both eyes simultaneously with itching, blinking, red and watery eyes. Treatments include lubrication, antihistamine drops, steroids or cyclosporine drops in severe conditions.
- Amblyopia/ lazy eye: It happens when the brain favors one eye over the other, decreasing vision in the weaker eye. This can be treated early on with patching of the stronger eye or with atropine drops.
- Nasolacrimal duct obstruction: It is usually congenital. Infants have excessive tearing and discharge, treated with nasal massage to open up the nasolacrimal duct.
- Chalazion/ stye: It is a benign growth on the eyelid caused by a blockage of the meibomian gland due to lid inflammation. If it does not resolve in a month then incision and drainage is recommended.
- Congenital cataract: Infants are born with unilateral or bilateral opacification of the lens. It is recommended to remove the lens early on to prevent amblyopia.
- Congenital glaucoma: A condition where the pressure in the eye is elevated. Infants with glaucoma will have large eyes (buphthalmous) with tearing and light sensitivity. Surgery is the treatment of choice.
- Retinoblastoma: It is a malignant cancer of the retina. It needs urgent diagnosis and treatment that includes chemotherapy, laser therapy and/ or removal of the eyeball (enucleation).
Most eye conditions in children do not show obvious or visible symptoms, andregular eye examinations help in detecting these conditions so they are managed or treated more effectively at an early stage.
Parents are advised to look at the visual behaviour of the child to spot these visual problems, also it’s very important to look for squints, abnormal head posture, excess eye rubbing, a white reflex on photos and others.
At Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai, we have a dedicated paediatric department that provides a comprehensive range of eye care services for children by specialist ophthalmologists, optometrists and orthoptists to ensure children receive the best possible care and treatment.
Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai (MEHD) is the first overseas branch of Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, the oldest and one of the largest centres for ophthalmic treatment, teaching and research in the world. Located at the Al Razi Medical Complex in Dubai Health Care City, the facility provides day case surgery and outpatient diagnostic and treatment services, for a variety of surgical and non-surgical eye conditions. MEHD will also raise standards for research and teaching in the region. MEHD is owned and managed by the NHS Foundation Trust, and maintains close links with London, to ensure that patients in the GCC receive the best eye care treatment in the world.