Vision plays an essential role in learning for children. However, young children and babies cannot fully talk and explain what they see. They can't tell us if their vision is affected. The best way to ensure a child can see well is to have an optometrist regularly examine their eyes. And the sooner a vision problem is detected in a child, the sooner appropriate treatment can be initiated. Here are some common eye diseases and conditions in young children.

Common acuity and alignment disorders in children

Amblyopia or lazy eye

This condition occurs when the visual acuity differs from one eye to the other. It is pretty easy to see it in young children: their eyes do not point in the same direction. As a result, the brain will "turn off" the signals from the eye that is misaligned. This prevents the child from seeing double, so they only use the "good" eye.

This condition is common in children and can be treated relatively easily when an optometrist makes a diagnosis quickly. The optometrist may even recommend that the child be seen by an ophthalmologist in certain situations. Amblyopia can be a consequence of the evolution of untreated strabismus in children.


Palpebral ptosis or ptosis is recognizable when one or both upper eyelids droop low over the eye. This can happen if the muscle responsible for lifting the eyelid is not working properly. If your child is tilting their head back when lifting the chin to look at an object up close, they may have this condition.

A child with ptosis may also develop other vision problems, such as amblyopia. This is because if one of their eyes is blocked by the eyelid, the other eye may develop better vision. As a result, the two eyes will not have equal vision. To some extent, children with untreated ptosis may even develop eye misalignment.

Common eye diseases and conditions in children


Because young children play and touch a lot in a day, they are more likely to develop conjunctivitis. A virus or bacteria usually causes this infection. If they touch their eyes with hands that haven't been washed in a while, they are likely to infect their eyes. Fortunately, with the help of antibiotics, the infection can be easily treated.

Blocked tear duct

When a child has a blocked tear duct, tears cannot flow normally, causing watering and irritation of the eyes. This condition is especially common in newborns. Treatment depends on the cause of the blocked tear duct.

Congenital glaucoma

This type of glaucoma is not a common disease, but it affects infants and young children. Congenital glaucoma could be hereditary since it forms before birth. It is due to an incomplete or deficient formation of the drainage system of the aqueous humour.

As a preventive measure, it is recommended that a child's vision be examined regularly. This is true even if the child shows no signs of a particular problem. To detect common childhood eye diseases and conditions early, it's a good idea to make an appointment for an eye exam:

  • Around 6 months of age
  • At about 3 years old
  • Before entering school (4-5 years)
  • Every year, from age 6 to adulthood

When was your child's last visit to the optometrist? If it's been more than a year, visit your nearest IRIS store to ensure your child can see well.