Pediatric Eye CareHealthy Sight for Children
Eye health is important your whole life, no matter how old—or young—you are. Pediatric eye care helps address eye and vision issues that could have consequences lasting into adulthood, so your child is able to see clearly both now and as he or she grows. Some eye conditions are particularly common in childhood that are highly treatable if you catch them early.
Common Eye Problems for Children
Certain eye issues are particularly common in children. These problems affect and can limit your child’s sight or eye comfort. In some cases, the condition won’t improve or resolve itself without treatment—which could permanently impact your child’s sight. Fortunately, these conditions are highly treatable when they’re caught early, allowing your son or daughter to grow up with healthy eyes and clear vision.
Here are some of the most common pediatric eye issues children could develop:
- Amblyopia – This is an issue with blurry vision, typically because of one eye not seeing as clearly as the other. This could be a result of an uncorrected refractive error (your child needs glasses), or because one or both eyes are not properly aligned. As a result, the brain starts to ignore the information coming from the “weaker” eye, turning it “lazy.” The vision loss in the weaker eye can be permanent if the condition isn’t treated early enough.
- Strabismus – This is a problem with misalignment in your child’s eyes. One eye may look straight forward, while the other appears to look in, out, up, or down. If the eyes are not perfectly lined up together, one eye will develop weaker vision than the other.
- Refractive Errors – Just like adults, children can have trouble with blurry vision from nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. This can impact your child’s ability to do well in school and play safely. Correcting the vision with glasses is important for helping your child to see clearly.
Regular eye exams are a crucial part of catching these problems early so they can be corrected. Other common children’s eye problems will more likely cause discomfort or pain rather than true vision loss:
- Chalazions and Styes – Though slightly different, both of these conditions result in sore, painful red bumps on your child’s eyelids. The bumps are often sensitive to touch and may make blinking uncomfortable. In more severe cases they can distort vision.
- Blocked Tear Ducts – This is most common in newborns. A tear duct may become plugged and prevent tears from draining correctly, leading to a watery, irritated eye. This condition can resolve on its own, but sometimes it needs extra treatment to relieve the blockage.
- Pink Eye – Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is an infection on the surface of the eye. It could be a bacterial or a viral problem, and can be very contagious. Your child’s eye appears red or pink, itches, tears up, and might leak discharge as well. Occasionally it’s accompanied by cold symptoms like a runny nose and sore throat.
Taking Care of Your Children’s Eyes
It should go without saying that good vision is important for a child’s growth and development, and that parents are concerned when problems arise. Our physicians will carefully examine your child’s eyes and vision to determine the exact cause of the problem as well as the best possible treatments. Treating pediatric eye issues can take time—particularly for amblyopia and strabismus. Clearer vision as your child grows is worth the time and effort, however.
All parents want what is best for their children, which means taking care of their eyes as well. Pediatric eye care is an important part of your child’s health so he or she can see clearly while growing. Don’t wait for the problem to get more difficult to treat to do something about it. Contact Sight Eye Clinic in Zeeland, MI, to take care of your family’s pediatric eye care needs today. Simply call (616) 772-2020 to reach us.