Retina Care for Children-Common Conditions and Treatment Approaches

Retina Consultants of Nevada is dedicated to diagnosing and treating eye conditions that affect the retina and how that relates to vision quality. The most common retinal disorders such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and retinal detachment are primarily associated with adults. However, children and infants can also suffer from disease of the retina. While each condition is unique, some common symptoms of pediatric and neonatal retinal disorders include complete or partial loss of vision, floaters in the line of vision, appearance of flashing lights, light sensitivity and white pupils. Because children and babies may either be unable to communicate or have a difficult time expressing some of these symptoms, it is important to pay attention to any clues that may signal it is time to schedule an exam to determine any issues with the retina or eye health. 

Understanding pediatric retinal disease directly correlates to retina care for children. Knowing common conditions and treatment approaches will give you a starting point if you suspect your child may have signs and symptoms of a retinal issue. A full ophthalmologic examination is required for diagnosis and expert management is crucial for minimizing the impacts a retinal disease could have on your child’s vision. Imaging tests will include dilation of the eyes to get a larger picture of the retina. Tests may include retinal photography, CT scan, ocular coherence tomography or an ultrasound of the eye. Types of pediatric and neonatal retinal disorders include retinopathy of prematurity, Coat’s disease, retinoblastoma, detached retina, juvenile macular degeneration or uveitis. Coat’s disease, retinoblastoma, retinal detachment and uveitis are all rare. Coat’s disease is a rare congenital disorder that is characterized by the abnormal development of blood vessels behind the retina that results in full or partial blindness. Retinoblastoma is a rare form of cancer that mainly affects children. Retinal detachment in kids usually happens because of eye or head trauma but can also develop due to certain eye disease or diabetes. Uveitis is a rare and complex condition that causes inflammation in the eye and is less common in children than adults. 

The 2 most common retinal conditions in kids are retinopathy of prematurity and juvenile macular degeneration. About half of the estimated 28,000 babies born each year in the United States either premature or weighing less than 3 pounds, have some degree of retinopathy of prematurity. Treatments include laser therapy or cryotherapy that can slow or reverse the abnormal growth of blood vessels; in severe stages, surgery may be needed. Juvenile macular degeneration, most commonly in the form of Stargardt disease, is an inherited disorder where the cells in the macula, the part of the retina responsible for central vision break down and begin to die off. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure or treatment option available for this type of retinal disease. Visual aids, adaptive training and vision therapy tools can help young people navigate the world with what limited vision remains. 
Before worry overtakes your mind and heart regarding your child’s visual acuity, call Retina Consultants of Nevada at 702-369-0200 or contact us online at anytime WEBSITE. Retina care for children varies greatly and will depend upon diagnosis and how we can best offer treatment and support to your family.