Dr. med. Claudius Lachmann

Ophthalmology for children

Ophthalmology for children

For the eye specialist, a child is not simply a "small adult". There are many special factors that the doctor has to consider when examining and treating children. Children are often just difficult to examine. How well they cooperate with the eye specialist varies depending on the child but also depends on how the eye specialist and the staff relate to the child. It is important for the eye specialist and the child to have a relationship based on trust. It is not possible to carry out a conventional type of eyesight test with very young children. Simple symbols are displayed instead of letters or numbers. The eye specialist will look at the eye as far as this is possible. Even with infants, eye specialists are able to make a rough assessment of the front and rear parts of the eye. Normal eye movement can be determined. If an eye has poor vision, this can be determined by covering the better eye, as this can make the child defensive. Eye disorders in children differ from eye disorders that typically affect adults.
Eye disorders that occur frequently in childhood or eye disorders that are rare but must be diagnosed early are:


Squinting entails a deviation of the eye position from the visual axis of the other eye. Squinting must be treated to prevent permanent visual impairment of the affected eye.


Amblyopia (lazy eye) is caused when the visual impression of an eye is shut off by the brain, for example when squinting or when seeing is not adequately "learned". This causes weak vision in one or both eyes.

Defective vision

Defective vision covers short-sightedness, far-sightedness and astigmatism. These can be compensated at an early stage by wearing glasses.

Congenital lachrymal duct obstruction

In the case of children in their first year of life, recurrent bacterial eye infections are usually caused by the failure of a membrane in the lachrymal drainage system to reform. The lachrymal duct obstruction can be remedied by lachrymal irrigation or probing or by surgery.

Retinopathy of prematurity

Retinopathy of prematurity is retinal damage caused by the premature birth of a child.

Childhood glaucoma

This is usually a congenital increase in intraocular pressure (green star), which causes gradual damage to the eye. An affected eye often looks particularly large.

Premature cataract

This is a congenital cataract affecting a newborn child. If one eye is affected, a congenital cataract leads very quickly within the first 4-6 weeks to severe amblyopia of the affected eye and should be operated on as soon as possible to improve visual acuity.

Copyright Dr. med. Claudius Lachmann