One of the most important services at our children’s eye center is a screening exam for children who are at risk for eye problems. Regular screenings for children with diabetes or juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) or those who are taking prednisone medications are at risk for developing issues and need close attention.
Children with diabetes are at risk of experiencing retinopathy. This is an eye disease that occurs when the small blood vessels in the retina become damaged. Retinopathy can lead to a loss of vision. Screenings that take place at least once a year to detect the signs of retinopathy are important. It’s also necessary to alert your child’s eye doctor if your child complains of blurry vision, trouble reading signs, eye pain, eye pressure, or seeing spots.
Similarly, children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) can suffer from eye problems as a side effect of the disease. A child with JRA can develop uveitis (inflammation of the inner parts of the eye). This inflammation can lead to scarring and vision problems, as well as glaucoma, cataracts, and permanent blindness if it is left untreated. Vision screenings are especially important because eye inflammation is typically not painful – in fact, your child might not notice any symptoms at all. A special microscope is used during a screening exam to check for inflammation.
Prednisone, a corticosteroid that can be prescribed to children with lupus, allergies, arthritis, breathing disorders, and other conditions can increase your child’s risk of developing glaucoma or cataracts. This is because prednisone can increase eye pressure. A screening exam once a year to check for these problems is important. You can also contact our office if your child complains of eye pain or blurred vision.