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Many times children are born with or develop eye problems early in life. Regular eye examinations can help detect these defects early in life, even before the child starts noticing the challenge. This is helpful because the longer a problem exists, the harder the child’s brain will work to make up for it and this can cause further issues.

The most common eye problems in children are:

  • Blurred vision (refractive errors)
  • Crossed eyes (strabismus), and
  • Lazy eye (amblyopia)

 

SIGNS OF VISION CHALLENGES

Here are some signs parents should watch out for in children:

  • Rubs the eyes a lot
  • Squints or blinks much of the time
  • Has lots of headaches due to eye strain
  • Bumping into objects
  • Tilts the head to one side
  • Covers one eye to see
  • Holds books close to the face or sits close to the television
  • Has trouble learning
  • Loses place while reading
  • Missing words or letters when reading
  • Mixing up letters e.g. calling ‘M’ ‘N’
  • Difficulty identifying faces
  • Avoids reading, colouring, puzzles and other detailed activities
  • Short attention span for the child’s age
  • Turning of an eye in or out
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Difficulty with eye-hand-body coordination when playing ball or bike riding
  • Starts getting lower grades

If a parent, teacher or guardian notices any of these symptoms steps should be taken to get the child’s eyes examined.

 

POSSIBLE REMEDIES

Eyeglasses can help with managing refractive errors. If the child has lazy eye, the doctor can prescribe an eye patch, eye drops, and eye exercises. Eye muscle surgery can straighten out crossed eyes but normally will not improve vision. Babies born with cataracts may have surgery as well.

Outdoor sport and play of at least ninety minutes a day can reduce the risk or progression of myopia so encourage your children to put down their devices, turn off the television or laptops and get active every day. Contact us for more information on caring for your child’s eyes.