We can never say it enough: vision plays a critical role in the development of young children. It is ironic because young children and babies are not fully able to speak and explain what they are seeing. The best way to make sure that a child sees well is to have his or her eyes examined by an optometrist. Many conditions can affect a child’s vision. Here are a few common eye diseases and conditions in young children.
Focus and Alignment Disorders
Amblyopia (lazy eye)
This condition occurs when visual acuity is significantly different in one eye compared to the other.It is fairly easy to see in young children: their eyes are most likely not looking in the same direction.As a result, the brain will “turn off” the misalignment signals to avoid double vision so that the child only uses the better-seeing eye. This condition is common in children and can be treated relatively easily when diagnosed at an early age. The optometrist may recommend that the child is seen by an ophthalmologist in certain situations.
Ptosis is recognizable when the upper eyelid droops over the eye. This can happen if the levator muscle (in charge of lifting the eyelid) isn’t working properly. If you see that your child is tipping his head back or lifting up his chin to take a close look at an object, he might be suffering from this disorder. A child who has ptosis might also be at risk of developing other vision problems such as amblyopia because if one of the eyes is blocked by the eyelid, the other may develop better vision. As a result, neither eye will have equal vision. In certain cases, children with untreated ptosis may even develop misaligned (crossed) eyes.
Eye Diseases and Conditions
Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
Since young children play and touch many things in a day, they are likely to develop a conjunctivitis because this infection is usually caused by a virus or bacteria. If they touch their eyes with hands that haven’t been washed for a little while, it is likely that they will infect their eyes. Fortunately, with the help of antibiotics this condition can be easily treated.
Blocked Tear Duct
When a child has a blocked tear duct, his tears cannot drain normally, which causes his eyes to get watery and irritated. This condition is particularly common in newborns. The treatment depends on the cause of the tear duct blockage.
It is recommended that the vision of a child, even one that has no apparent signs of having any particular problems, be examined according to the following schedule:
-Around the age of 6 months
-Around the age of 3
-Before entering school (4-5 years old)
-Every year, from 6 to adult age
How long has it been since your child has seen the optometrist? If it’s been more than a year, you can book an eye appointment now to make sure that he or she sees well.