A child’s excellent vision is key to a lot of things. A child’s eyes work all the time, and he or she needs good eyesight for everyday tasks. Examples are reading, writing, and watching television. A child’s education and social interaction are often affected by his or her vision. Those may suffer when he or she has poor eyesight. The demands on their visual abilities increase as they progress through life. A lot of kids experience eye problems, although it is not well-known to many. Problems may arise when you do not take any action at once. Most of the time, parents or guardians shrug off a complaint about blurry eyesight. They wave it off when their child voices out a discomforting pain in the eyes.
When visual skills are not functioning in proper ways, the child has to adjust. A child needs to work not only twice or thrice as much but sometimes even more. Children tend not to tell others about their visual problems. They believe it is the way everyone sees things.
Indications of a visual problem among children
Problems related to children’s eyesight are often undetected and untreated. Eye problems can show similar signs and symptoms attributed to ADHD. Similarities include hyperactivity and distractability. A comprehensive vision exam is what children with these symptoms need. Parents can also use the Online Optometrists Tool to avoid misdiagnosis. The following are some of the common indicators of a visual problem.
- Protesting about discomfort and fatigue
- Eye rubbing or blinking more often
- Double vision
- Losing place when reading
- Eye turning in or out
- Tilting the head to one side
- Limited attention span
- Dislike reading and other similar activities
- Holding reading materials close to the face
- Cannot remember well what he or she read
- Experience headaches often
- Covering one eye
Common eye problems of children
- Strabismus or squint
This eye problem is often called crossed eyes, turned eyes, lazy eyes, or squint. Strabismus happens when the eyes point in different directions. You may notice this in your child all the time, but it may come and go. Squint can be a congenital condition but can also be something acquired later on. Children usually do not outgrow strabismus. Treatment is more effective when done as early as possible. Usual treatments may include glasses, patching, and exercises. Some cases may need surgery in combination with these. An ophthalmologist and orthoptist work together to carry out the treatment.
- Epiphora or blocked tear duct
Epiphora is also known as watering eyes. This eye problem may happen if the duct that drains tears from the eye to the nose becomes blocked. Blocked tear ducts usually get better on their own through time. A surgical procedure is often needed if the epiphora does not heal on its own within twelve months. Frequent infection that causes problems may also call for an eye operation. Let your child have an eye examination to be sure it is epiphora. Blocked tear ducts are not the only reason for having watering eyes.
A blockage in the glands of the upper or lower eyelid may lead to a small swelling of the eyelid. This condition is more known as a chalazion. Your child may experience swelling and redness of the eyelid. There can sometimes be a somewhat yellowish ooze. Chalazia can happen in one or both eyes, and your child may have many chalazia on their eyelid at any one time. Your family doctor usually gives initial treatment. Bring your child to an ophthalmologist if it persists after three to four months. Your child’s vision will become affected if the chalazia are so large it covers the center of the pupil.
An eye can become lazy when it does not receive a picture as bright as the other eye does. People know this condition as amblyopia. Causes of amblyopia include strabismus and ptosis or a droopy eyelid. Refractive error or incorrect focusing power can also cause amblyopia. This eye condition can also be because of cataracts or clouding or opacity in the lens. Amblyopia can lead to poor vision when not treated. Patching and glasses are the treatment for this eye problem. Treatment should start as early as possible for the best results.
How to prevent eye problems
The condition of your child’s eyesight may change from time to time. It is best to have your child receive an eye examination often. Keep in mind that a vision screening is not a comprehensive eye exam. A child who has clear eyesight or have 20/20 vision can still have an eye problem. Your child may experience something that has to do with his or her eye. Eye problems may include focusing, eye tracking, and eye coordination. Make sure your child receives a comprehensive optometric examination. Treatment always works best when problems become detected and treated earlier. You can protect your child’s eye by giving him or her a healthy and balanced diet. Always safeguard his or her eyes from harmful UV light. Do not let your child stay on gadgets and the television for too long. Make sure there is proper distance between your child and the device or the TV.
Taking care of your child’s eyes is paramount to avoid eye problems in the future. You do not want them to suffer when you could avoid it. Always go for a regular checkup and be mindful of warning signs of changes in his or her vision.