Good vision is important for children because it helps them learn and helps them focus in school. It is also important for eye health. Read on to understand the common childhood vision problems and the importance of regular eye exams in children:
Nearsightedness, or myopia, occurs when a person can see objects that are far away but not objects that are close. It generally starts in early childhood and progresses during adulthood. Myopia is diagnosed during routine eye exams. Treatment may include corrective eyewear, contact lenses, or corrective surgery. Myopia is caused by genetics and environmental factors. It may also be associated with other eye issues, such as astigmatism.
Farsightedness occurs when your child’s vision is distorted due to focusing an image behind the retina. This condition is also known as hyperopia. Many children develop farsightedness earlier in life. This is frequently detected during eye exams when the child begins school. Children with farsightedness can see objects in the distance without issue but have difficulty seeing objects up close.
Astigmatism is a common vision problem among children. It’s caused by an irregularly-shaped cornea. When this happens, the light entering the eye is not focused correctly. This results in blurry vision. Astigmatism is very common. It affects around 1 in 3 children. In most cases, it’s corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Strabismus, or crossed eyes, occurs when a person’s eyes point in different directions. It often occurs at birth, but it can also develop over time due to eye conditions, such as farsightedness or astigmatism. Strabismus can cause depth perception issues and problems with vision development. It is recommended that children with strabismus undergo corrective treatment. Treatment options include glasses, eye patches, and surgery.
Amblyopia, or lazy eye, happens when one eye has significantly lower vision than the other. It develops when the brain favors one eye over the other. It can be corrected with glasses, vision therapy, or surgery.
Children should have their first eye exam by six months old. This is to make sure your child’s eyes are developing normally and there are no signs of an eye condition.
If poor vision goes uncorrected, it can cause problems with a child’s learning development. Problems can include the following:
As your child gets older, you may notice them squinting often or rubbing their eyes. These are signs that their vision may be blurry or that they’re experiencing eye strain. Your child may complain of headaches or have difficulty seeing the board at school. The other vision problems to look out for in children include the following:
The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) recommends that your child have his or her first eye exam if no vision problems are noted at six months of age. If your doctor sees any risk factors or eye issues, he or she will likely recommend more frequent checkups, including vision screenings, eye coordination tests, and visual acuity (eyesight) checks.
It’s important for parents to be proactive about their children’s vision. If your child needs glasses or contacts, it’s wise to schedule an appointment with an optometrist sooner rather than later.
At Summerlin Vision, we encourage parents to bring their children regularly for comprehensive eye exams. We are located at 900 S Pavilion Center Dr #140, Las Vegas, NV 89144. You can also reach us at (702) 243-8788 and schedule an appointment.