Children’s eye health begins should continue throughout childhood, regular eye exams should be performed during doctor’s visits to help protect your child’s vision and provide useful information about his or her eye health.
If there is a family history of vision or eye problems or your child complains of problems with his or her vision and has symptoms, he or she may need to have an official eye exam. Even if there are no risk factors or family history of eye problems, children need their vision checked at 6 months, 3 years, and before first grade, it is that important.
Things to look out for in toddlers and young children include:
· Poor school performance
· Not wanting to go to school
· Difficulty paying attention
· Difficulty when reading and writing
· Trouble seeing information on the chalkboard
· Blurry or double vision
· Headaches or eye pain
· Taking longer than normal to complete homework
· having one eye turns in or out (this may be easier to spot when they are tired)
· rubbing their eyes, a lot
· watery eyes
· clumsiness and poor hand-to-eye co-ordination
· screwing up their eyes when they read or watch TV
· sitting very close to the TV, or holding books or objects close to their face
· having behaviour or concentration problems at school
· blurred or double vision, or unexplained headaches
An eye exam as part of each annual physical may be all a child ever needs.
However, parents are reminded that if your child has any symptoms of vision problems, or has family members who wear glasses, she may need to visit an eye care professional for examination. It is recommended also that parents find an eye care professional who has experience treating children and is familiar with children’s eye diseases.
Three types of eye specialists can provide children’s eye and vision care:
An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who provides eye care, such as complete eye exams, prescribing corrective lenses, diagnosing and treating eye diseases, and performing eye surgery.
An optometrist is a health care professional who can provide complete eye exams, prescribe corrective lenses, diagnose common eye disorders, and treat selected eye diseases. Optometrists do not treat more complex eye problems or perform surgery.
An optician assembles, fits, sells, and fills prescriptions for eyeglasses. Common eye problems in children may include:
Common eye problems in children may include:
Amblyopia: Sometimes called a lazy eye, this is a poor vision in an eye that appears to be normal. If untreated during childhood, amblyopia can lead to permanent vision loss or impairment in the affected eye.
Strabismus: A misalignment of the eyes, commonly known as cross-eyed, which causes eyes to wander. Both eyes do not always aim at the same object. If one eye is misaligned constantly, amblyopia may develop in that eye. Healthy vision can be restored by patching the properly aligned eye and forcing the misaligned one to work harder. Surgery or specially designed glasses may also help.
Refractive errors: These errors occur when the eye is incorrectly shaped and vision is blurry. The most common of these are:
Nearsightedness, also known as myopia or poor distance vision. Nearsightedness is usually treated with glasses.
Farsightedness, or hyperopia, is poor near-vision and is usually treated with glasses.
Astigmatism is an abnormal curve of the front surface of the eye and is treated with glasses.
If your child needs glass, an optician with experience in fitting children’s glasses can help your child choose frames and lenses that are stylish and safe. “If possible, let your child choose Their frames,” and ease them into the process.
Get your child checked before back to school.
It’s your responsibility!