Your child’s vision problems are to be taken seriously. The earlier they are detected the faster they can be treated. Luckily, most common eyesight complications fade while the child grows and the eye develops, some even disappear. Unfortunately not all vision problems are self-healing. It is, thus, essential to detect them well to be able to take necessary actions.
Signs that may indicate a visual anomaly in children
You can detect some visual problems in your child. If they have one of the following signs, we recommend that you book an eye-test with your optometrist:
TV or holding a book too close
Losing place while reading or using a finger to guide the eyes when reading
Squinting or tilting the head to see better
Frequent eye rubbing
Sensitivity to light and/or excessive tearing
Closing one eye to read, watch TV or see better
Avoiding activities that require near vision, such as reading or homework
Avoiding activities that require distance vision, such as participating in sports or other recreational activities
Complaining of headaches or tired eyes
Avoiding using a computer, because it "hurts my eyes"
Poor performance in school and/or studies
Common eye conditions in children
Early detection and treatment of strabismus and allows your child to regain good vision.
Managing color blindness
This eye condition cannot be treated. It is thus advisable to make the child understand his difference of perception of the colors.
Myopia is corrected by wearing glasses.
Signs of astigmatism
Common but mild symptoms of astigmatism are blurred vision, headaches, eyestrain or reading difficulties.
You may also notice distorted near and far vision, unclear peripheral vision, inability to distinguish certain shapes and details, inability to see clearly between horizontal and vertical lines.
Astigmatism can be diagnosed at a routine eye examination. Prescription lenses will help improve your vision significantly, or could help slow the effects of astigmatism.
Why does it happen? - Lazy eye results from other conditions that affect the sight:
- Squint (strabismus):Problems with the eye muscles lead to a misalignment of the eyes.
- Severe long or short-sightedness: An inability for one eye to focus properly can force the stronger eye to work harder, and the other to become ‘lazy’.
- Congenital cataracts: Usually present at birth, congenital cataracts in one eye may make a child’s vision in that eye appear cloudy, forcing the other to work harder.
Signs of amblyopia
There are no specific symptoms of lazy eye, but children tend to see less clearly with the affected eye. You might notice your child holding his or her head at an angle to see distant objects or may repeatedly cover one eye, or develop a habit of squinting.
Lazy eye is usually simple to treat, but it can take time. If unaddressed, the vision may be permanently compromised. Amblyopia can be diagnosed from around the ages of five or six. The underlying problem needs to be addressed – for example, prescription glasses can correct the focus of the weaker eye.
Efforts to accommodate the vision can create visual fatigue.
Visit your optometrist, appropriate lenses will solve the problem.
A solution for each eye condition
Your child needs to visit an optometrist as soon as he shows signs of poor vision. Appropriate lenses shall solve most problems.. The earlier the visual impairment is detected, the more likely it will be to treat.
If no treatment is effective, for example for color blindness, the child should be accompanied and listened to, while explaining that his or her disorder will not prevent him or her from living a normal life.