Healthy Eyes for Children


Eye care tips for children
  • It is never too soon to take your child for an eye examination, as we can examine children’s eyes even if they are unable to read letters. You should aim to take children for their first eye examination at least by the time they are three years old, especially if there is a family history of wearing glasses.
  • Always make sure there is plenty of light when your child is doing their homework so they do not strain their eyes to see.
  • Always protect your child’s sight in the sun. There is increasing evidence to suggest that over-exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays (UV) can contribute to the development of cataracts, age-related maculardegeneration and ocular melanoma (eye cancer).
  • Make sure they eat their greens! Eating yellow fruits and green vegetables which contain substancescalled lutein and zeaxanthin could help protect against some eye conditions, in particularcataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
  • If your child is computer crazy or a bookworm ensure they take regular breaks from such close work. Although there is no conclusive evidence to suggest either activity causes visual problems or spectacle powers, they can certainly lead to tired, red and sore eyes.
  • If your child is computer crazy or a bookworm ensure they take regular breaks from such close work. Although there is no conclusive evidence to suggest either activity causes visual problems or spectacle powers, they can certainly lead to tired, red and sore eyes.
  • When your child is playing certain sports, such as badminton, squash or swimming, get them to wear protective goggles so they don’t risk a dangerous eye injury.
 

 

Eye Exams

  • Routine medical exams for kids' vision include:
  • Newborns should be checked for general eye health by a pediatrician in the hospital nursery.
  • High-risk newborns (including premature infants with history of oxygen exposure after birth ), and those with obvious eye irregularities should be examined by an ophthalmologist.
  • Around age 3, kids should undergo eye health screenings and visual acuity tests
  • Around age 5, kids should have their vision and eye alignment evaluated by their doctors. Those who fail either test should be examined by an eye doctor.
  • Kids who wear prescription glasses or contacts should have annual checkups to screen for vision changes.

 

Spotting Eye Problems

Signs that a child may have vision problems include:

  • constant eye rubbing
  • extreme light sensitivity
  • poor focusing
  • poor visual tracking (following an object)
  • abnormal alignment or movement of the eyes (after 6 months of age)
  • chronic redness of the eyes
  • a white pupil instead of black

 

In school-age children, watch for other signs such as:

  • inability to see objects at a distance
  • inability to read the blackboard
  • squinting
  • difficulty reading
  • sitting too close to the TV
  • squinting or crossed eyes.
  • Watering of eyes
  • Rubbing their eyes
  • Frequent headaches
  • Lack of concentration or underachieving at school . Poor vision is very likely to cause problems with reading and writing
 

 

Common Eye Problems
Several eye conditions can affect kids. Most are detected by a vision screening using an acuity chart during the preschool years.

  • Amblyopia (lazy eye) is poor vision in an eye that appears to be normal. Two common causes are squint and a difference in the refractive error between the two eyes. If untreated, amblyopia can cause irreversible visual loss in the affected eye.
  • Strabismus is a misalignment of the eyes; they may turn in, out, up, or down. If the same eye is chronically misaligned, amblyopia may develop in that eye. With early detection, vision can be restored by patching the properly aligned eye, which forces the misaligned one to work. Surgery or specially designed glasses also may help the eyes to align.
  • Refractive errors mean that the shape of the eye doesn't refract, or bend, light properly, so images appear blurred. Refractive errors also can cause eyestrain and/or amblyopia. Nearsightedness is the most common refractive error; others include farsightedness and astigmatism:
  • Nearsightedness is poor distance vision (also called myopia), which is usually treated with glasses or contacts.
  • Farsightedness is poor near vision (also called hyperopia), which is usually treated with glasses or contacts.
  • Astigmatism is imperfect curvature of the front surface of the eye, which is usually treated with glasses if it causes blurred vision or discomfort.
  • Retinoblastoma is a malignant tumor that usually appears in early life. The affected eye may have visual loss and whiteness in the pupil.
  • Infantile cataracts can occur in newborns. A cataract is a gradual clouding of the eye's lens. It appears as whiteness in the area of pupil.
  • Congenital glaucoma in infants is a rare condition that may be inherited. The eyes appear larger and may have clouding of cornea.