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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
Eye disorders that may affect your child’s vision can be divided into two groups:
What are refractive errors?
Refractive errors are seen in almost 20 percent of children. The most common refractive errors, all of which affect vision, are:
What are non-refractive errors?
Glaucoma is classified according to the age of onset. Glaucoma that begins before the child is 3 years old is called infantile or congenital (present at birth) glaucoma. Glaucoma that occurs in a child is called childhood glaucoma.
Cataracts can affect either one eye (unilateral) or both eyes (bilateral). Cataracts in children are uncommon. A child may be born with the disease (congenital), or it may develop later in life (acquired). Possible causes of cataracts include:
The majority of congenital cataracts (those present at birth) are present in children who also have other eye problems or other health problems. In approximately 25 percent of children born with congenital cataracts, the condition is due to a genetic cause, such as a metabolic disorder (caused by an inherited enzyme deficiency) or a chromosome abnormality (i.e., Down syndrome).
Signs and symptoms of a cataract may include:
Treatment of cataracts usually involves surgery.
About 250 children in the United States are diagnosed with this type of cancer each year. It mostly occurs in children under the age of 5; the highest incidence of the disease occurs between infancy and age 2. Both males and females are affected equally. Retinoblastoma can occur in either eye, but in about 25 to 30 percent of the cases, the tumor is present in both eyes.
Signs and symptoms of retinoblastoma may include:
Treatment for retinoblastoma may include one, or more, of the following:
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”