Children are carefully screened at multiple points during childhood to prevent vision problems or vision loss. What are the most common childhood eye problems, and how can they be addressed?
At Harlem VistaSite Eye Care in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, Brittni Rodriguez, OD, and Sarah Quan, OD, can help monitor your child’s vision and identify common eye problems in plenty of time to provide remedial care or fit them for their first pair of eyeglasses.
Common eye problems in children
Aside from pink eye, which is a viral, bacterial, or allergy-triggered infection of the eyes that affects children of all ages, most common eye problems in children are related to abnormalities in how the eyes work and can cause severe vision loss if not rectified.
Refractive errors can cause your child to have blurred vision. They may not realize there is an issue, but children with this problem often rub their eyes constantly, complain their eyes are tired, squint at the television, and start to fall behind in school. Blurred vision has many causes:
The most common refractive error is nearsightedness, or myopia. Fortunately, corrective lenses can be used to help correct this problem. The prescription may need to be adjusted annually or twice a year as your child grows and their vision changes.
Another cause of blurred vision is astigmatism. The cornea is egg-shaped, causing light entering the eye to be bent and focused improperly. This makes shapes that are far away and/or close up appear blurry or out of focus. Again, glasses can usually resolve this issue.
When your child gets older, he or she can choose surgical options to fix both myopia and astigmatism and may be able to ditch the eyewear. Not all people are candidates for surgical intervention, but it is an option your child can discuss with their doctor.
If your child has strabismus, they may have an eye that crosses over toward the nose or wanders outward toward the ear. If an eye can’t focus correctly, the brain may shut off the signals it gets from that eye, and your child could lose sight in that eye.
Using a patch over the strong eye can help strengthen the lazy eye, and surgery can correct the problem by tightening the muscles and bringing the eye back to face forward again.
If you’re concerned about your child’s eyes, schedule a consultation with the specialists at Harlem VistaSite. You can get in touch by calling 646-453-6506 or booking an appointment online.