Pediatric Ptosis

child receiving an eye exam

Many parents aren’t familiar with all of the conditions that can impact their child’s eyes or vision. Pediatric ptosis, while common, isn’t necessarily widely known. If you are wondering what pediatric ptosis is, what the signs of pediatric ptosis are, and how the condition is treated, here’s what you need to know.  

What Is Pediatric Ptosis?  

Ptosis is an eye condition where the upper lid droops down or doesn’t open completely, causing it to obstruct the eye and physically block the visual field. Pediatric ptosis focuses on the condition when it impacts a child, including infants, toddlers, and younger kids.  

Pediatric ptosis can be caused by weaker eyelid muscles as well as excess eyelid skin. In some cases, it’s congenital, meaning it is present at birth. In others, it develops over time. Both trauma and neurological issues can be a cause and certain habits, like excessive eye rubbing.  

With pediatric ptosis, quick treatment is usually a necessity. Otherwise, the obstruction to the visual field can negatively impact eye development, leading to additional vision issues over time.  

Additionally, identifying the root cause of the condition is a must. That way, if the ptosis is a symptom of another medical issue, the underlying condition can be determined and appropriately addressed.  

Signs of Pediatric Ptosis  

In some cases, pediatric ptosis is outwardly noticeable. It will be apparent when looking at the child, as the eyelid either doesn’t move properly or remains low even when open.  

Some presentations can be more subtle. However, other symptoms indicate potential ptosis, including:  

  • Head tilting when trying to view an object  
  • Headaches or eye fatigue  
  • Running into items that are hanging from above  
  • Delayed walking or crawling  
  • Distorted, blurred, or double vision  
  • Eye misalignment  
  • Dizziness or balance issues  
  • Diminished vision acuity  

Many of these symptoms are potentially associated with ptosis and other conditions, as well. As a result, it’s best to see your eye doctor if any of them develop, even if eyelid drooping doesn’t seem to be present.  

Pediatric Ptosis Treatment  

If your child has ptosis, there may be a few treatment options. Which approach is best usually depends on the underlying cause along with the severity of the symptoms.  

For minor cases, nonsurgical treatment may be sufficient. This can include using eye drops or patching to strengthen the weaker eye, specialty eyeglasses, or a ptosis crutch, a device that supports the eyelid. If weaker muscles are the core issue, eye exercises may also be part of the treatment plan.  

In some cases, surgical intervention is a necessity. Precisely which procedure is required may vary. If an issue with the underlying muscle structure is involved, surgically tightening them may be the best approach. If excess skin is responsible, blepharoplasty may be the right option.  

Ultimately, your eye doctor can determine which treatment course is ideal. They’ll assess your child’s ptosis, identify the cause, and gauge the severity. Then, they can make an appropriate plan, ensuring the pediatric ptosis is addressed correctly.  

At ECVA, our staff works diligently to care for the eye health of patients of all ages, ensuring they can see clearly today, tomorrow, and well into the future. If you have a child with signs of pediatric ptosis or if you or your children simply haven’t had eye exams recently, schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today.  

Summer Eye Care Tips

While taking care of your eyes is a year-round job, certain situations that could cause them harm are more common in the summer. If you want to keep your eyes safe during the warmer part of the year, here are some summer eye care tips that can help.  

Protect Your Eyes from UV Light  

Ultraviolet (UV) light can be incredibly damaging to the eyes. Not only can corneas sunburn, but your eyes can also be susceptible to melanoma – a type of cancer – and a range of other UV-related eye conditions. By focusing on prevention – including using sunglasses, visors, and different kinds of UV protection we’ve covered previously – you reduce your risk.  

Shield Your Eye During Home Improvement  

During the warmer months, many people decide to tackle a range of home improvement projects. This can include making repairs, updating landscaping, handling some painting, and much more.  

Many home improvement projects do present risks to your eyes. Sawdust, paint, debris, and fumes can all potentially be harmful. In serious cases, something hitting or getting into your eye may even cause permanent vision changes, including blindness.  

When you participate in home improvement projects, wear protective eyewear. By doing so, you’re shielding your eyes from harm.  

Use Eye Protection When Playing Sports  

Similar to home improvement projects, many sports have items soaring through the air that could hit your eyes. Eye injuries from golf balls, tennis balls, baseballs, and other similarly sized balls are actually fairly common. The same goes for badminton shuttlecocks and street hockey pucks. Without eye protection, these can all cause serious injury.   

While your risk of an eye injury may be minimal with a basketball, soccer ball, or other balls of a larger size, they could also present a risk if you’re getting close to other players. A person moving their hands while trying to get a ball may not notice where you are, causing them to strike your face or poke you in the eye by mistake. As a result, it is wise to wear eye protection here as well.  

Keeping Your Eyes Safe from Chemicals  

If you own a pool, the chemicals you need to use to keep the water sanitary can be dangerous if they get into your eyes. This is true both when you’re using them to balance the pool, as well as if the concentrations are too high in the water while swimming.  

When you are balancing pool chemicals, using full-seal goggles is smart, as well as gloves. When you’re swimming, if you notice your eyes stinging, get out of the water, as that’s a sign the chemical concentrations aren’t correct.  

Additionally, wearing swim goggles while in the water is a smart move even if the chemicals are balanced. That way, you can see clearly while avoiding exposure to potential irritants.  

At ECVA, we take the safety and health of our patients’ eyes seriously. Whether it’s an injury, chemical exposure, or any other summer concern, we are here to help. Even if you simply haven’t had an eye exam recently, our team is here for you. If you have any eye concerns, schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today.