Infant Diseases of the Eyes

Vision plays a very important role in an infant’s development and perception. If an infant is diagnosed with  an eye-related disease, it is important to treat the disease immediately.  If the disease is left untreated, serious consequences like permanent eye damage or even blindness can ensue.  This article will cover several of these conditions.

Retinopathy of Prematurity

This condition is often called ROP in short. According to the experts at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, one of the top eye hospitals in the United States, this situation could lead to blindness in developed countries where premature infants receive advanced medical care in the NICU. Many hospitalized premature newborns could develop ROP because of the high level of oxygen needed to treat their immature lungs. This high level of oxygen may cause the retina to form abnormally and develop scars, or it could also cause retinal detachment. But today, experts are more able to handle the dose of oxygen so cases of this condition are less prevalent today.


Often referred to as a lazy eye, this condition causes the child to favor one eye more than the other.  This condition may affect one to five percent of all babies born. If it is not treated, the weaker eye could develop blindness. The treatment generally requires glasses or a child must cover the stronger eye with an eye patch to encourage them to use the weaker one.  Children who undergo this treatment often successfully outgrow this condition.


Strabismus is another condition that which is related to eyes.  In this condition, the eye becomes turned in or out.  The eyes become misaligned.   If it is not treated, it could cause amblyopia to develop. As a treatment, children are required to use glasses, drops or do eye exercises to strengthen the eye and surrounding muscles.


Retinoblastoma is a rare version of eye cancer. Symptoms of this disease include white spots on the center of the baby’s eyes. There are different options for treatment and they all depend on the size and the location of the tumor. If it is left untreated, it could cause the cancer to spread to the patient’s brain, which is often fatal.


This situation occurs in one in 25,000 babies born in the USA according to the researches at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. Permanent blindness could occur similar to adults. Early symptoms of glaucoma include enlargement in one or both of the eyes  Infants with glaucoma could  also develop light sensitivity, cloudy corneas and nearsightedness. It requires surgery that could provide a chance for 80 to 90% of the babies to continue their life normally.

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