4 Common Eye Issues in Children

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Eye Issues in Children

Eye health is incredibly important, and our eyes are very sensitive. Eye issues experienced in later life can sometimes be caused by issues as a child. Heere are a few common eye problems in children to look out for:

Strabismus

Strabismus, also known as crossed eyes, occurs when the eyes are not aligned. They do not point in the same direction, meaning they cannot both focus on the same object. Eyes may point in, out, up, or down, and this can affect the development of learning and motor skills. Treatment options include vision therapy, surgery, and glasses, and if untreated, it can lead to conditions such as amblyopia. Things to look out for in your child that may point to strabismus include headaches, eye strain, and double vision, as well as being able to see that their eyes are misaligned.

Conjunctivitis

Also known as pink eye, conjunctivitis is the inflammation of part of the eye due to viruses, bacteria, or allergies. The eye becomes red, swollen, and itchy, and there may also be some discharge and weeping. Bacterial and viral conjunctivitis is contagious and commonly picked up at schools. Treatment for allergic conjunctivitis includes regular antihistamine products like eye allergy drops, which help soothe swelling and redness. If your child has the contagious version, they may be asked to stay off school and prescribed antibiotics, among other treatment options.

Styes

A stye is a small bump on the edge of the eyelid. Even though they appear small, they can be very painful and irritating. They can occur when the oil glands become infected due to bacteria. Using a warm compress or anti-inflammatory medication can help clear up a stye. Styes often clear up after around 10 days and should not be burst. If styes are a reoccurring problem, they could be a sign of an underlying issue, so if your child gets them regularly, seek your doctor’s advice.

Amblyopia

Amblyopia, or a lazy eye, occurs when one eye does not keep up with the movements and focus of the other. Even though the effects can be seen in the eye, it is actually a problem with the nerve pathways from the eye to the brain. The brain favors the working eye, meaning the weaker one gets left behind in development. Again, this affects the learning and movement skills, as well as a child’s self-esteem. Sometimes amblyopia can occur as a result of untreated strabismus. Other symptoms include squinting and covering one eye, and issues with depth perception. Treatments include surgery, glasses, lenses, and the use of an eye patch to strengthen the weaker eye by forcing the brain to use it.

These are just a few common eye issues, and it is important to regularly take your child to get their eyes tested. This will pick up on any vision problems and allow them to be managed and treated effectively and quickly. Poor eye health in childhood can lead to greater vision issues in later life, so it is always worth making sure your child’s eyes are healthy, as they will reap the benefits later on.

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