Eye Issues that May Affect Children
A child’s general health and wellness are largely in the hands of their primary caregivers. While feeding and bathing and teaching young children, parents must also manage their physical needs. Eyesight is one of several aspects that need to be monitored. Because it isn’t always easy to detect when a child has an eye problem that is affecting their vision, parents are encouraged to schedule routine eye exams starting at a young age. Here, we discuss some of the common issues that your child’s eye doctor can address.
- Myopia (my·oh·pee·uh)
Most people know myopia as nearsightedness. To be nearsighted means that objects at a distance appear blurry while those that are near, within a few feet, are clear. Children often lack the verbal skills and awareness to describe their visual difficulties. Parents may notice signs of myopia like their child squinting when looking at objects farther away or their child moving up close to view a computer or television screen.
- Hyperopia (high·per·oh·pee·uh)
The opposite of myopia, hyperopia is often referred to as farsightedness. This problem enables a person to see objects in the distance more clearly than objects that are closer to them. Eye rubbing and squinting are common indications of this vision error. Some children also complain of frequent headaches.
- Astigmatism (uh·stig·muh·tism)
People with astigmatism may have generally blurry vision at all distances. This is because the eye is somewhat oblong, like a football, rather than completely spherical like a basketball.
Each of these vision problems can be corrected with prescription eyeglasses. Routine eye exams need to be maintained for children who wear eyeglasses to ensure they do not struggle physically or academically.
Common Childhood Eye Infections
- Conjunctivitis (con·junk·tuh·vite·us)
We usually hear of this common infection as pink eye. Caused either by bacteria or a virus, conjunctivitis can cause symptoms including a burning or itching sensation, redness, excessive tearing, eye discharge, and crustiness around the eyelashes. This infection can be quite contagious. Children showing symptoms should see their eye doctor right away to receive proper treatment with eye drops or antibiotics. Children should not go to school or play with others until their infection has been treated.
- Chalazion/Stye (ka·lay·zee·un/sty)
A stye or chalazion looks like a bump on the eyelid. The two conditions look similar but are different. A style is caused by bacteria and grows along the base of the eyelid. This problem can be pretty uncomfortable for a child. A chalazion, on the other hand, is more of a cosmetic problem. It isn’t likely to be painful. To treat either condition, a parent may apply warm compresses over the bump for several minutes. This may need to be repeated several times before the bump goes away.
The team at Pasadena Eye Associates is here to help your child feel better. To schedule a visit with us, call (713) 473-5715.