Healthy eyesight is essential to a child’s growth and development. In fact, your child should have their eyes regularly checked, starting from the moment they are born. If a problem is identified early, then the impact can be minimized and treated effectively.
There are many reasons why children have vision problems, resulting in a variety of different symptoms. So, in this post, we will take a closer look at child vision problems and discuss to look out for as a parent.
Some children are more at risk for developing vision problems and should be carefully monitored at various stages of their development.
Children with a higher risk of developing vision problems include:
- Premature babies
- Children with a family history of vision problems
- Children of maternal smokers
- Children with developmental disorders such as autism or down syndrome
Things to Watch Out For
Regardless of the general health of your child, an early diagnosis will help to treat any conditions effectively. Vision problems can lead to developmental issues and further vision problems, as well as harming their learning.
Therefore, there are some common signs to look out for as your child starts growing up. Some may just be symptoms of eye infections or allergies, but if you notice any of the following, it is well worth getting your kid checked out.
- Light sensitivity
- Poor focus
- Constantly rubbing their eyes
- Chronic redness of the eyes
- Poor spatial awareness
- Poor reading skills
- Holding objects really close to their face, such as books and tablets, or sitting close to the TV
Common Child Vision Problems
There are several vision problems that can affect children, and they can be easily identified during routine eye exams.
Refractive Errors – these issues can affect people of all ages but will affect everyone differently. These errors in vision mean that the eye doesn’t refract light correctly, which results in blurred vision. Kids can be nearsighted and farsighted, and both conditions can be treated by using glasses or contacts.
Lazy Eye – this issue involves one eye having poorer vision than the other and needs to be treated as early as possible to avoid irreversible vision damage. Kids who are crosseyed will usually be at risk from this condition.
Strabismus – this misalignment of the eyes involves the two eyes not working in tandem. One eye will look directly at an object, while the other one will turn inwards or outwards, which can lead to double vision. This condition is easily treated, but it needs to be caught early to avoid any permanent vision loss or developmental issues.
From the moment your child is born, they should receive regular eye checkups to make sure their eyes and vision are developing correctly. Eye checks will form part of newborn and child wellness exams and should never be missed.
If your child requires glasses, they will need regular checkups to make sure they have the proper glasses. Your eye doctor can also help your child with hand-eye coordination and ensure that they have the right tools to participate fully at school and in recreational activities.