Eye problems are commonplace these days, not just amongst adults but also amongst younger people. Even infants and young children can suffer from a variety of problems when it comes to the eyes and there are some eyesight problems that are more common than others in children. As a parent, it is a good idea to be aware of the more common eyesight problems that can affect children, as this will enable you to not only identify the issue if it arises but also take appropriate action wherever possible.
Some of the more common eyesight problems and vision issues that can affect infants and children include the following:
Amblyopia: Also referred to as Lazy Eye, this is a condition that affects infants and young children. It occurs because a child’s brain cannot cope with double vision and the weaker eye involuntarily closes down. This can cause problems with development of the affected eye, which is why the underlying problem needs to be identified and rectified as early on as possible.
Ptosis: This is a condition that can block all or part of the vision in one eye as a result of a drooping eyelid. The extent of the droop can vary and while the eyelid will cover part of the eye in some affected children it can cover all of the eye in others.
Conjunctivitis: This is a common problem that can affect adults as well as children. It is also known as Pink Eye, and is the result of a bacterial or viral infection although it can be caused by an allergic reaction. If the problem stems from an infection, the child will have to be kept home from school and away from others, as it can be highly contagious.
Blocked tear duct: Some babies can be born with a blocked tear duct, although this is a problem that will generally resolve itself within the first year of the baby’s life. Signs of the condition include an eye that is watery, infected and irritated.
Strabismus: This condition often affects pre-schoolers and results from issues with the eye muscles. These issues prevent proper alignment and focus, which makes it difficult for the child to focus both eyes in the same direction. If the issue is not addressed and resolved early on it can develop into amblyopia.
Of course, the signs of eyesight issues in children are not always obvious to parents and it can therefore be difficult to determine whether there is an issue, particularly in very young children or infants. However, parents can look out for signs that may indicate and issue with the eyes or with vision. Some of these include:
If you feel that your child is experiencing problems with vision or eye health, it is important to make an appointment to see an optician for a check-up.
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