A healthy vision is essential for the development of every child. A weak vision or eye problems will affect a child’s learning ability and personality, in addition to affecting his/her school work. The next time you take your child for a health check-up, make sure you include eye tests too.
Eye Specialists to Visit
Make an appointment with either of the following, depending on the vision test and care required:
- Ophthalmologist: They treat eye problems and are qualified to perform eye surgeries.
- Optometrist: Similar to ophthalmologists, except that they do not perform surgery.
- Optician: They can give routine eye-exams to test vision and can fit/adjust eyeglasses to rectify vision problems.
Uncommon Warning Signs
Not all vision problems start with blurry vision or inability to see things clearly. Some symptoms can go unnoticed, such as:
- Wandering or crossed eye: It affects 3-5% of children. Its symptoms include an eye that drifts or appears crossed in respect to the other eye.
- Uneven focus: It occurs when one eye is more farsighted than the other. This affects 2-3% of kids. Detecting this problem can be tricky as younger children may not realize that their vision is compromised.
These problems occur in kids between the ages of 18 months and 4 years.
Vision Screening and Treatment
Doctors recommend that the first full vision screening should be done by the age of 3. Follow it with an in-depth examination to detect the underlying problem. The treatment for most eye problems is done with eye-drops, eye patches, glasses or special lenses. Surgery might be recommended if the patches, drops or lenses don’t work to correct the problem.
Detecting Eye and Vision Problems in Children
Vision problems can be detected through the following warning signs:
- Eye rubbing and redness of eye
- Tearing and swelling
- Droopy eyelids
- Pus or crust
- White, yellow, or gray-white material in the pupil
- Sensitivity to light
- Rush to an eye doctor the moment you see these symptoms.
Common Eye Problems in Children
Amblyopia: Also known as ‘lazy eye’, amblyopia is poor vision in an eye that appears to be normal. Crossed eyes and different refractive error between both eyes cause amblyopia. It should ideally be treated before the age of 8, after which it can cause irreversible visual loss in the affected eye.
Strabismus: This is caused due a misalignment of the eyes, i.e., when they may turn in, out, up or down. A chronically misaligned may also lead to amblyopia. If detected early, the vision can be restored by patching the properly aligned eye, forcing the misaligned eye to work. It can be corrected through surgery or specially designed glasses too.
Refractive errors: When the shape of the eye doesn’t refract the light properly, images will appear blurred. Refractive errors can also cause amblyopia. Common refractive errors include:
- Nearsightedness: Also called myopia, nearsightedness is poor distance vision when you can’t see things that are at a distance.
- Farsightedness: When you have trouble seeing close objects, it’s called farsightedness or hyperopia.
- Astigmatism: This causes an imperfect curvature of the front surface of the eye, which makes the objects appear either ‘stretched’ or ‘shrunk’.
All refractive errors can be treated with eye-glasses, contact lenses or surgery.
Depending on the severity of the condition, vision treatments like patching may last for couple of weeks, months to about a year. Use of glasses or contact lenses may be more permanent. Get your child’s vision tested today to assure healthy eyes. Do not ignore the warning signs or delay the treatment as it can cause permanent vision loss in the affected eye.
InSight Vision Center offers precise treatments for all types of eye problems. Schedule a consultation today and know the best treatment options for your child.