If you’ve been noticing some unusual concerning behaviour in your children that you think is related to their eyes, you should visit your optician immediately. Like other health conditions, eye conditions are incredibly important to be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. There are many eye conditions that are common in children that need to be treated in order to stop the condition from worsening.
In this article, eye care provider R Woodfall, tells us about the most common eye conditions in children and their treatment options.
Myopia, commonly known as short-sightedness, is a very common eye condition among children, and research now shows us that by 2050, half of the global population will be myopic. Myopia is a refractive error, which is a type of eye condition that involves light not being able to focus correctly on the retina. This causes blurry vision and with myopia, not being able to see objects in the distance clearly.
Myopia is common in children, and it is usually found between the ages of 6–13 years old. Myopia is also common in adults, but it is very prevalent in children and gets worse as they get older, and with more use of digital devices and less time spent outdoors, the progression of myopia is now more thoroughly documented.
The best treatment for myopia is corrective spectacle and contact lenses. Wearing a specialist myopia management correction not only corrects your child’s vision, but it can help prevent the progression of myopia, and relieve them of their symptoms too. Common symptoms of myopia include eye strain and headaches.
Hypermetropia, hyperopia, or long-sightedness, is another refractive error that affects children and adults. This is again due to light not being refracted properly, in some cases resulting in blurry vision like myopia, however, in younger eyes, hyperopia can often be undetected and misdiagnosed.
The symptoms of hyperopia in children include headaches after reading/writing, eye strain, and difficulties at school. If you suspect your child has hyperopia, then you should book them in for an eye test as soon as possible. Like other refractive errors, hyperopia is best treated with corrective lenses.
Astigmatism is another common eye condition, astigmatism is also a refractive error and it happens when certain structures of the eye are misshapen, and light is not refracted properly. Blurry vision and eye strain are symptoms of astigmatism. If your child complains of headaches and you see them struggling to concentrate, this could be a sign of a refractive error like astigmatism.
Also known as lazy eye, amblyopia is an eye condition that results in poor vision in one eye. This occurs when the brain doesn’t recognise eyesight from the weak eye. It’s a very common condition in children and it’s very important to take your child to an optician to check for this condition early on.
When amblyopia is caught early on, it can be treated effectively. Unlike refractive errors, amblyopia is harder for parents to detect, so it’s important your child has a routine eye examination at an early age.
Amblyopia is commonly treated by using an eye patch on the stronger eye. This teaches the brain to see through the weaker eye, making it stronger. Amblyopia can also be treated by eye drops into the stronger eye to temporarily blur the vision, making the brain use the weaker eye instead.
Ellen Diamond, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.