Childhood Eye Problems and How to Manage Them

eye problems in childrenYou can do everything when you have a healthy vision. You have a clear eyesight, better performance at work and school, and you will see the world differently.

That’s why you have to do everything to protect them against eye diseases that could lead to poor eyesight.

However, you can’t do anything when your eye problem starts when you are still a child.

Eye problems in children are very common. Studies show that children with eye defects are not comfortable in school and they affect them academically.

Below are some of the eye diseases that are common in children.

List of childhood eye problems and how to take care of each of them

1. Pediatric Cataract

Pediatric cataracts, otherwise known as infantile or childhood cataracts, usually start when a child is still in the womb of his mother. This eye condition happens when the lens of a child become abnormal while he is still not born.

According to studies, there are at least 3 out of 10,000 children around the world who have this kind of cataract. Most of these children inherit this condition from family members. They may also get it as a result of infections.

When a child has this eye disease, he should be taken immediately to a physician to be treated right away because he may have a permanent loss of vision if the condition is disregarded.

Treatment for pediatric cataract usually includes removal of the cataract as soon as possible. If the cataract is already present at birth, then it should be removed immediately to prevent vision loss. Take note that when a cataract is removed, the normal development of the vision centers in the brain will be interrupted.

If a child has tiny cataracts that may not seem to disturb his vision should not be removed yet but instead be carefully monitored. They are to be removed when a child shows a sign of vision problems in the near future.

2. Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis in children is also a known childhood eye disease. This condition is also recognized as “pink eye” because of the redness and inflammation that shows when a child has it.

In this condition, the part of the eyes that is affected is the conjunctiva, a thin clear tissue that settles over the white part of the eye. It’s also a part of the eye that lines the inner eyelid.

Conjunctivitis develops when there is a presence of bacteria or virus. It may also happen when there are things that irritate your eyes such as shampoos, pool chlorine, dirt, and smoke. And if a child has an allergy to dust or pollen, there’s a possibility that he may also have conjunctivitis.

If the conjunctivitis is caused by bacteria, it should be treated with antibiotics prescribed by the physician. These antibiotics include ointment, pills, and eye drops. If it is otherwise caused by viruses, it should be aided by antivirus medications.

3. Stye

A stye is also known as one of the most common eye diseases in children. It develops when there is an infection in the rim of the upper or lower eyelid. Usually, it comes with a red bump or swelling in the affected area and it’s irritating that it makes the eyes itchy and appear reddish.

Most people confuse this condition with conjunctivitis but these diseases are two different things. A stye is not contagious but conjunctivitis can be carried out by other children. This means that other children can be safe when another child has a stye.

A stye can be easily treated by applying a warm compress to the stye using a clean washcloth. Do this t least three to four times a day. Make sure that you do not squeeze or make a contact to the stye as this will cause an infection.

Most of the time, a medication is not necessary but a physician may likely prescribe antibiotic eye drops or eye ointment to the child when you consult him. If a child develops fever, that’s the time that you have to call your health care provider.

4. Astigmatism

This eye condition is the most common preschool vision problem. It is quite different from nearsightedness and farsightedness because it is a refractive error that deals with the difficulty of a child to focus light.

A child with astigmatism experiences blurring and distorted vision and if the symptoms are uncorrected, he may experience headaches and strain.

It is important for parents and guardians to have their children assessed for an examination. This is to avoid future vision problems for them at school.

A child should also undergo an astigmatism test to detect if he has nearsightedness or farsightedness. Some physicians may perform retinoscopy to further assess a child’s eye health status.

5. Presbyopia

Presbyopia is an eye condition by which the lens of the eyes thicken and lose their flexibility. A child who has this eye problem often experiences a difficulty of focusing on an object. He may also experience blurring of vision especially when he focuses on near objects.

To be able to identify a child’s potential presbyopia, he should undergo an eye examination wherein his visual acuity will be checked as well as his ability to focus from near to far and the condition of his retina.

If a child has this condition, he is advised to wear eyeglasses that are prescribed by an ophthalmologist and an optometrist.

How to take care of children’s eyes

Whether or not your child has an eye problem, you should push through taking care of his eyes by following these tips:

  1. Advise him to wear a protective eyewear when he is playing outdoor sports.
  2. When he is reading, turn on lights when it is dark.
  3. Ask if his eyes are sore.
  4. Keep skin products like sunscreen away from his eyes to avoid irritation.
  5. Advise him not to rub his eyes when they are itchy but instead, wash them with water.
  6. Use the eye creams.

Conclusion

Eye problems in children could happen but they can be prevented if you know how to take care of your child’s eyes. There’s nothing more important than being knowledgeable about these problems and being aware of how to prevent and treat them when they develop.