Healthy eyes and vision are a critical part of kid’s development. Their eyes should be examined regularly, to detect and treat various eye conditions. This article provides information about some of the common vision problems in children.
Vision problems can go unnoticed in children, as it does not induce any physical pain. There are many possible causes of vision problems in children, and it is the responsibility of the parents to ensure that eye screening is carried out at routine intervals. These eye checkups ensure that small eye problems do not develop into any serious eye condition in adulthood or the coming years.
Commonly known as cross-eye or wall-eye, strabismus is a condition in which a child is unable to align both the eyes simultaneously under normal conditions. It is estimated that around 5% of all children are affected by this condition. This is why, the American Optometric Association recommends an eye screening in the first nine months of the child’s birth.
Also known as lazy eye, it is one of the most common causes of vision problems in children. In this condition, one eye of the child becomes weaker than the other. This problem cannot be corrected by using glasses or contact lenses, so it is very important that the parents take their child to a doctor for an early comprehensive vision examination.
Retinopathy of Prematurity
This vision problem is seen in premature children. Retina is one of the important parts of the eye, and it starts developing when the infant is still in the womb. It starts developing during the 16th week of pregnancy and is completed by the 36th week. In case, when an infant is born prematurely, retinopathy of prematurity occurs.
Retinoblastoma is a type of cancer, that affects the retina. This condition affects around 400 children in the United States every year. The most common symptom of retinoblastoma is the formation of ‘white pupil’ in the eye. Most of the kids affected by this condition, are born with it. If the condition is diagnosed early, it can be cured easily and children are able to maintain good vision.
Signs and Symptoms
- Difficulty in reading and writing
- Closing one eye or tilting the head in one direction while reading
- Continuous rubbing of eyes and recurring headaches
- Skipping lines while reading and complaining of floaters in the eye
- Excessive tearing in both the eyes during day can be a sign of ophthalmus, a condition in which the eyes do not close fully while sleeping.
Vision therapy is of great benefit in children, when glasses or contact lenses cannot cure the condition. It is an individualized therapy prescribed to treat conditions like lazy eye, crossed eye, eye teaming, and learning related eye problems. In this therapy, various workshops and fun-activities are conducted depending upon the condition.
Also, before embarking on a vision therapy, the child should be first checked by a doctor, who does a comprehensive assessment of the vision problem of the child and then recommends the therapy. The best way to ensure that any vision problem is diagnosed at an early stage, is to take your child to an ophthalmologist frequently.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.