Pediatric Eye Care: Common Eye Conditions and Their Treatment

Your little one's eyes are precious and deserve the best care. But sometimes, they can have eye problems affecting their vision and health. Some eye problems are present at birth, while others develop later in childhood. Some are mild and easy to treat, while others are serious and need surgery or ongoing treatment.

Here are some common children's eye problems and treatments.

Refractive Errors

Refractive errors make your child's vision blurry. They happen when the eye bends light the wrong way. They can affect one or both eyes. 

Your child can wear glasses or contact lenses to fix their refractive errors. A little bit of farsightedness is normal in babies and children. If it worsens or makes the eyes cross, your child needs glasses. 

Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)

Amblyopia is when one eye has poor vision because it did not grow well during childhood. It usually affects one eye, but sometimes both. Amblyopia can happen because of refractive errors, strabismus, ptosis, or cataract.

Your child can make their lazy eye stronger by using it more. They can do this by putting a patch or special eye drops on the "good" eye for a few hours daily. Other treatments may include glasses, contact lenses, surgery, or eye exercises.

Strabismus (Crossed Eyes)

Strabismus is when one eye looks in a different direction than the other. It happens when the eye muscles do not work well together. Strabismus can affect one or both eyes and can come and go or stay. 

Strabismus can make your child see double, have trouble judging distances, and develop a lazy eye. You can fix strabismus with glasses, patches, surgery, or eye exercises depending on how bad it is and what causes it.

Blocked Tear Duct

The tear duct leading from the eye to the nose can become narrowed or clogged, resulting in a blocked tear duct. It is common in babies and usually goes away by six months of age. A blocked tear duct can cause watery eyes, mucus discharge, crusty eyelids, and infections.

You can massage the duct area gently, use warm compresses, or apply antibiotic eye drops to treat your child's blocked tear duct. If these methods do not work, your child may need a tear duct-probing procedure or surgery to open the duct.


A cataract happens when the eye's lens gets cloudy and affects vision. Cataracts usually affect older people, but some children have them at birth or develop them after an injury or illness. A cataract can blur and cloud your vision, make lights look bright or ringed, dim your colors, and weaken your eye.

Your child may need surgery to remove their cataract and restore normal vision. The surgery replaces the cloudy lens with an artificial one. Cataracts in babies and children are rare and usually different from cataracts in adults.

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

Conjunctivitis inflames the conjunctiva, the thin membrane covering the eye's white part and inner eyelid. Infection, allergy, or irritation can cause it. Conjunctivitis can make your eyes red, itchy, burning, watery, crusty, and swollen.

You can use eye drops, ointments, or oral medications to treat your child's conjunctivitis, depending on the cause. You should keep your child's eyes clean and avoid rubbing or touching them. 


These are some common children's eye problems and treatments. But there are many more that need pediatric eye care. If your child shows any signs or symptoms of an eye problem, contact your pediatrician or pediatric ophthalmologist immediately.

For more on pediatric eye care, visit Broad View Eye Center at our Berea, Broadview Heights, or Strongsville, Ohio offices. Call (440) 526-7070 or (440) 238-7865 to schedule an appointment today.