Eye diseases affect newborns, children and adolescents commonly just as in adults. In children, the most common conditions pertain to refractive errors ( short sightedness, long sightedness ), squint ( inequal eye muscle function ), and infections – both viral, bacterial, and allergic conditions. Less common are : birth defects of the eye, birth defects of the eye nerve, the face involving the orbits ( the eye ball sockets ), tumours of the eye, inherited defects ( genetic and metabolic ) of the body involving the eye.
In newborns, particularly, the prematurely born baby, a disease called ‘ retinopathy of prematurity ‘ affects some, particularly those who required oxygen during their stay in the newborn intensive care unit. In this condition, due to a variety of factors, blood vessels in the visually sensitive layer of the eye called retina, grow abnormally affecting vision. This condition needs surveillance of ‘ at risk babies ‘ and appropriate diagnosis and intervention to prevent visual defects including blindness at the other extreme.
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