Children’s Eye Problems
Most eye problems are genetic in nature. While some genetic eye diseases don’t expose themselves until older age, it’s not uncommon for an eye condition to be present from birth. Because of this, it’s very important that eye screenings are performed during infancy, and throughout childhood.
Common Childhood Eye Conditions
- Lazy Eye: Lazy eye is a term referring to the condition known as Amblyopia. Amblyopia typically presents itself from a very young age, and is typically a problem with the brain, or optic nerve, not the structure of the eye itself. This conditions results in one eye being favored over the other due to a lower level of visual processing in one of the eyes. If untreated, the brain will start favoring the “good” eye more than the other to prevent blurring and distortion, and as one grows older, it is generally harder to permanently correct Lazy Eye. Treatment is usually performed by either correcting optical issues in the “bad” eye, or by simply patching the “good” eye, which forces more usage of the eye suffering from Amblyopia.
- Color Blindness: Color blindness is largely caused by genetic predisposition, although it can be caused by diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, or other accidents which result in the swelling of the brain. Color blindness typically only results in partial loss of color vision, although in some cases, can result in complete loss of color vision. Color blindness will typically become known as one starts to learn about colors as a child. There are no known cures for color blindness, and while it can make some careers and aspects of life more difficult, most who experience color blindness enjoy a normal quality of life similar to those who see in full color.
- Myopia, Astigmatism and Hyperopia: Myopia, Astigmatism, and Hyperopia can happen at any given time, but frequently will start to become prevalent from childhood to young adult age. Much like with adults, these conditions are corrected using standard corrective lenses, either via eye glasses, or via contacts. Many children will show early signs of these conditions by having difficulty focusing, having a hard time adjusting to reading, and sitting very close to a television. If your child is experiencing any of the above problems, make sure to set a vision appointment for them to see if they have a correctable condition.