Childhood Eye Diseases, that Parents Need to Worry About!

According to the India Vision Institute, 1.6 million children are blind or visually impaired due to uncorrected refractive error.  Birth to 6 years of age is a crucial time for a child’s vision development. Undiagnosed or untreated eye diseases can be detrimental to the ocular health of a child.

A child is not able to identify changes related to vision, so parents must proactively follow the eye screening schedule for their children before any problem arises.

What are Child eye problems symptoms?

  • Redness of the eye
  • Watering from one or both eyes
  • Difficulty in focusing
  • Trouble maintaining eye contact
  • Trouble in recognising objects and colours
  • Repeated blinking
  • Impended visual response
  • Decreased peripheral vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Kids’ eye infection
  • Misalignment of eye or eye turns

If any of the above symptoms are present in the child, it may be indicative of eye disease.

What are the common eye diseases in children?

Amblyopia or lazy eye: It affects one or rarely both eyes.  It is due to failure to develop normal vision in early life. Children tend to develop lazy eyes from birth to within 7 years of age. Amblyopia leads to decreased visual ability in young kids. It may not be identified without eye screening.

Refractive errors: There are 3 common eye problems related to refractive errors in children – Astigmatism, near-sightedness, and farsightedness.

Astigmatism is a common eye problem due to errors in the curvature of the eye. Eventually, it affects far and near vision in children.

Near-sightedness or myopia occur if the eyeball grows too long in axial length – from front to back. Parents should observe whether the child moves close to the TV or screen to watch, is not able to identify time from the wall clock, disinterested in activities requiring more focused vision. It means the child is facing difficulty to see distant entities.

Farsightedness is exactly the opposite as the name suggests.  Hyperopia develops when a kid’s eye is too short and not able to process light properly. In this disorder children won’t be able to see the close object, and they face difficulty in reading, writing etc

Paediatric cataract: Cataract in children is the most common cause of blindness and it is treatable with early identification. Paediatric cataracts can develop at a young age in which the eye looks cloudy, red, sensitive to light, watering and blinking frequently.

Nystagmus: It is a developmental disorder of the eye or brain or the connection between the two. It is involuntary vibrations of the eyes. Children with nystagmus move their eyes unknowingly, have poor or blurred vision and have balance problems.

Double vision or diplopia: If it is due to squinting, then the problem of eye muscles rendering eyes look in different directions. Double vision also happens from birth disorders, trauma, neurological defects, tumour and so on.

Glaucoma: Paediatric glaucoma is developed because of the excessive pressure within the eye, which can further damage the optic nerve. It presents in one or both eyes. Often causes sensitivity to light, excessive tearing, pain and discomfort, enlargement of the cornea and at a later stage vision loss.

Congenital eye disorder: Congenital cataracts present as clouding of the lens of the eyes since birth or may develop during the first year. Whilst it is a rare condition, it is one of the major causes of visual impairment and blindness in children.

Eye check-up schedule: Advanced eye screening is helpful to detect eye diseases in kids. Catching eyes problem during childhood help in diagnosis and treatment. It also results in better outcomes and healthy vision.

A child should undergo a comprehensive eye examination at the age of 6 months, then at the age of 3 to 5 years and before he/she starts the first grade of school. Annual eye screening at school is effective to detect changes in eyes as well as visual abilities at the earliest.

So, these are Childhood eye diseases, that parents need to worry about! Parents can always observe eye changes or children’s behaviour indicating vision problems and must follow an Eye screening timetable.

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Meta description: Here is the childhood eye diseases list, parents should follow the eye check-up schedule for the healthy vision of children.

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