Nearly 7% of children in the United States suffer from an eye or vision condition.
Children’s eye problems cause several frustrations for both the child and caregiver, so it’s vital that they get the help they need as soon as possible. But what are some eye issues in children that could cause serious problems?
If you need more information on children’s eye health, here are some common eye problems to watch out for.
Conjunctivitis is the medical term for pink eye. Pink eye is either a bacterial or viral infection that causes redness, crustiness, itching, and oozing in one eye or both. It’s extremely common and contagious in children because they rub their eyes and transfer those germs to objects or people.
Without treatment, pink eye could cause numerous problems to the eye, so if you notice any symptoms of pink eye, contact your doctor for antibiotics.
2. Double Vision
Diplopia is what causes double vision in children and it makes it hard for the child to do almost anything. Double vision can be frightening for both the child and caregiver and usually caused by muscles in the eye that are not working properly. It can occur in one or both eyes.
There are treatments for double vision such as surgery, medications, or special glasses.
3. Blurry Vision
Blurry vision is another common problem among children. There are many reasons for blurry vision, but more serious ones will include neurological issues. If your child complains about not seeing well or consistently rubs their eyes, visit your doctor for an eye exam to determine the cause.
You may think it’s cute when your child crosses their eyes as a joke, but in the medical world, it’s a serious eye problem. When eyes continuously cross, it’s called strabismus and is due to the muscles not being aligned properly.
There are treatments for strabismus which may include eye-muscle surgery, prism glasses, or eye exercises
Amblyopia is the lazy eye, and this is very noticeable during your child’s early years. It’s important to see a doctor soon after you notice it because early treatment can help improve vision later on in life. In some cases, if your child develops strabismus and does not seek treatment, it could result in amblyopia.
Symptoms of Children’s Eye Problems
Younger children in particular may not always voice their concerns when it comes to their eyes, so it’s critical to pay attention to their behavior.
Here are some possible symptoms and behaviors that could warrant a call to your pediatrician:
- Excessive eye rubbing
- Light sensitivity
- Looking at objects like books closely, or squinting
- Drooping eyes
- Seeming uncoordinated in gross and fine motor skills
Not all of these symptoms point to something serious, however, but it’s always best to have a word or appointment with your pediatrician to catch an eye problem before it’s too late.
Does Your Child Have Eye Problems?
Children’s eye problems can be minor or serious depending on the condition and the age of the child. The best thing to do is see a doctor and get help soon rather than later!
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