Visual learning is a very important aspect of growing and learning.And therefore parents have to be a little knowledgeable about what are a few eye conditions affecting children and what may be needed to be taken care of immediately.Children being children aren’t the ones who are going to complain of anything.They have a tremendous ability to adjust.So please do not expect them to come and tell you anything.Lets go through a few common conditions.
1.Squinting /Cross eyes: Children could develop cross eyes due to various reasons.Few may hamper vision and few may not.A few cross eyed conditions require immediate and long term management with a lot of patience.A visit to the eye doctor is a must as soon as you see your child having cross eyes even if it appears randomly or occasionally.
2.Refractive Errors: Refractive errors like myopia(short sightedness),hypermetropia(long sightedness)or astigmatism may be present.Higher numbers may cause gross vision problems that may make you notice that your child is not seeing well.Most others may not be as obvious. Prescription glasses need to be worn by children for vision to develop optimally
3.Amblyopia: Also called as Lazy eye may develop if one of the eyes doesn’t have adequate focusing ability be it because of a high number or because of some other eye condition that may not be allowing light to pass inside the eye completely.This requires urgent attention by an eye doctor during childhood.Amblyopias get difficult to manage as the childs age advances.
4.Infections: Are quite common in children because they have a curious mind and explore everything that comes their way.So children keep touching various things and hence are more prone for infections.Infections could take the form of red eyes,styes or more vision threatening ones.A visit to the eye doctor cannot be ignored.
5.Allergies: seasonal allergies are quite common during childhood especially in children.They may last very long and could come in repeated episodes.Be prepared for multiple visits to your eye doctor.
6.Others: A lot of other conditions are seen in children.A drooping eye,an obviously swollen or a protruding eye,a white reflex in the eye,loosing eye lashes,inability to see well in the dark,asymmetry of the two eyes,too much watering or discharge because of a congenital blocked naso lacrimal duct are conditions that mandate a visit to the eye doctor as soon as possible.
A thumb rule to visit a eye doctor could be a visit to the eye doctor at the age of around 4 years if ALL ELSE APPEARS NORMAL. Any abnormality/anything that feels not normal MANDATES AN IMMEDIATE VISIT.