Determining if a child may have an eye problem can be a challenge. Unlike adults, children may not necessarily know what the normal visual baseline is. They are less likely to complain as well, thus often, visual problems are left untreated or managed too lately.
Makati Medical Center and PRessence Now help parents or guardians determine possible eye problem in children with these few essential reminders.
Little clues showing potential eye problem in kids may start with a child often squinting, rubbing eyes, and tearing excessively. Sitting too close to a TV and complaining of headaches or having difficulty reading are possible hints, also. With these complaints, it is best to take your child to an Ophthalmologist, a doctor who provides comprehensive eye care diagnosis and management.
Eduardo V. Sarabia, MD, Chairperson of Makati Medical Center’s Department of Ophthalmology, enumerates steps parents can do to address this critical health issue.
What Are the common eyesight problems
Common eyesight problems are Near-sightedness (myopia), far-sightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism (the imperfect curvature of the cornea). Thes types of refractive errors cause images to appear blurred. Such a problem, though, can be managed with simple eyeglasses, which significantly improve the quality of vision.
Strabismus is a condition wherein one or both eyes turn in or out. This misalignment of the eyes manifests as either crossed eyes or walled eyes, often resulting in doubling of vision. If detected early, this can be managed with eyeglasses, sometimes using special prismatic lenses to make the eyes align normally. Surgery can also be offered to reposition the eyes mechanically but is usually reserved in more advanced cases.
Amblyopia refers to the failure of the eye to achieve normal visual acuity even despite the best attempts to correct it. This is commonly known as “Lazy Eye” because the brain only receives visual input from one good eye and no contribution from the amblyopic eye. This visual development disorder begins during infancy or early childhood and often progresses due to a failure in correcting another eye problem, such as strabismus, the high-grade difference between the two eyes, or congenital cataracts.
At what age does a child suffer from eye problem
Poor eyesight can start at any age. They can be as young as newborns and babies, especially if they come from a family with a history of eye problems.
Routine eye health screenings are part of an infant’s checkup, as well as checkups among children aged three years old and up.
How is poor eyesight diagnosed
An Ophthalmologist will conduct a variety of examinations to assess vision. These include but are not limited to visual acuity testing (using age-appropriate eye charts to check if a child can see at various distances), refractive assessment (to see if vision can be corrected with eyeglasses), pupillary light reflex testing (to gauge if their pupils are responding properly), and fundus examination (which may include dilation of the eye to examine the retina and optic nerve).
What is the treatment for poor eyesight
It is important to note that not all blurring of vision can be managed with eyeglasses. Specific treatment depends on the particular condition and can include a combination of different corrective techniques. These can include anything from glasses, eye exercises, contact lenses, eye patching, medical therapy, lasers surgery, and a host of surgical options. Your ophthalmologist can recommend the best course of treatment for your child’s eyesight, so it is imperative to regularly check-up with your Ophthalmologist to ensure the best for your child’s bright future.
What if my child does not want to wear glasses
“Make wearing glasses a pleasant and fun experience for your child by letting him or her choose a frame that is cute and comfortable to wear,” advises Dr. Sarabia. “More importantly, assure them that they look wonderful with glasses and this helpful tool can help them in school, during playtime, and sports.”
For more information, please visit MakatiMed.