Vision is a crucial sense for everyone. If you do not take better care of your eyes, you can suffer from vision deterioration. Most time, vision deterioration can be from factors out of your control. By paying attention to these signs, you can control them from deteriorating further.
In the case of children, these vision problems can get neglected if not paid attention to them. Your child might not tell you that their vision is weakening, they need prescription glasses or they have always had some vision issues since birth. Small children are unable to tell you their problem. Pay attention to these signs to know if your child is going through any vision issues.
- The child rubs their eyes a lot.
- They squint or blink a lot.
- They have constant headaches.
- They tilt their head to one side.
- They cover one eye to see.
- They hold books close to their face.
These signs indicate that they suffer from some sort of vision defect. These can be corrected using glasses. These signs are not visible, and you will have to pay attention to their behaviour.
Other visible signs of eye problems are as follows -
- Bulging eyes
- Droopy eyelids
- Misalignment of eyes
- Redness in eyes
- Gray or cloudy centre in the eyes
- Crusty drainage or pus
- Rapid movement of eyes
- Constant watering of eyes
- Hurt or itchy eyes
What are common eye problems in children?
Eye problems, if detected early, can reduce the effects to a lot extent. Vision problems can hinder the overall development of the child. It can pose a problem in their learning process. They will have problems learning to read and write. If this problem is not detected in an early period, it can affect them later on. The most common signs are the unwillingness of children to study. They might have problems seeing the letters clearly, making them unwilling to learn.
It is better to know common eye problems in children as parents. Some of the common eye problems are -
- Blurry vision (refractive errors like myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and presbyopia)
- Crossed eye (strabismus)
- Lazy eye (amblyopia)
When should you take your child for an eye test?
After your child has turned 3 years old, take an eye test regularly every 2 years. Consider a comprehensive eye test for a thorough eye check-up. NHS gives free eye tests for children. If your child is under 16 or under 19 and studying full time, they can get a free eye test with NHS.
Getting your child to visit a doctor can be difficult. They do not sit still while taking the test and may find reasons to not go at all. Reward for their good behaviour if they take the test. Also, take their favourite toy with them so that they do not engage in toying with the equipment.
What to expect during an eye test?
If you are taking a comprehensive eye test, it would take at least two hours. The doctors will take a series of tests just like the eye test of adults. They will conduct tests after checking the external condition of the eyes. Usually, the test includes a test for visual acuity and the overall condition of the eyes.
Visual acuity test includes testing for refractive errors. If the child is too young to read a vision chart, a phoropter is used to check the refractive error. Eye alignment, eye response speed and colour blindness is also tested.
When checking the condition of the eyes, the doctor can do a slit lamp test or pupil dilation test. Similar tests are conducted to thoroughly examine any eye condition they might have.
Glasses for kids
After the test is done, you will need glasses to correct the kid's vision. Kids don't like wearing glasses. Also, glasses-wearing kids are bullied in school. Consider these facts before forcing them to wear glasses. Kids are too young to wear contact lenses and be careful while wearing them. Children above the age of 10 or 12 are mature enough to wear contact lenses. However, it's up to your judgement if your kid is ready to wear contacts or not.
In the case of young children, get them vibrant looking glasses. Kids will find dull black glasses boring and will not wear them in fear of getting ostracised. Not wearing glasses will deteriorate their vision even further.
Get them glasses that they like. Kids often break and lose things. As glasses are expensive, they will burden your expenses. Get them sturdy eyewear that does not break easily, even when they are roughhousing. Get them glasses strap or thread to prevent loss of glasses. Once the child adjusts to glasses, it will become their second nature to take care of glasses.
Also, check if they are being isolated in the school because of their glasses. Seek help from the teachers to help your child adjust to their eyeglasses in school. To protect your child's vision, take notice of their surroundings too.