Children’s Vision

Protect Your Children's Eyes

Our Children's Eyes

The ability to see is instant the moment a child is born. Visual acuity (sharpness of vision), on the other hand, takes time to develop. In the first month of life, vision remains blurry, which gradually improves each month. By the sixth month, babies can see distant objects clearly. It takes another six months for the child to follow things darting in and out of sight. However, it’s not until their fourth birthday when visual acuity is equivalent to that of adults. It continues to develop until six to seven years of age.

Checking children’s vision is a part of every parent’s responsibility. It’s a common misconception that all kids can see clearly. In reality, children’s eyesight problems can emerge well under the age of four. But here’s the good news depending on the condition, there are ways to help children see better and prevent the problem from getting worse, as long as they are picked up early. Research supports the use of modern eyeglasses for kids to have improved vision skills.

Detecting Vision Problems

A parent can provide early insights to kid’s vision and its potential issues. When vision problems are detected early, it can be treated, increasing the chance of healthy, normal vision. Here are a few things to look for:

  • Visibly crossed eyes or strabismus
  • Frequent tilting of the head
  • Large eye size
  • Light sensitivity
  • Unresponsiveness to light
  • Habitual eye rubbing, often followed by grimacing
  • Failing to grasp objects
  • Inability to focus, usually with the eyes turning
Detecting Vision Problems
Detecting Vision Problems

For children aged five and above, make sure to watch out for the following signs of kids’ vision problems:

  • Bumping into furniture
  • Frequent stumbling
  • Complaints about not seeing in the dark and at dusk
  • Poor school performance
  • Avoiding reading books
  • Recurring headaches
  • Avoiding other kids

If you have observed some of the conditions above, schedule an appointment with an optometrist today.

Common Types of Vision Problems in Children

Far Sightedness Hyperopia

FAR SIGHTEDNESS (HYPEROPIA)

Does your child have no problems recognising distant objects, but struggle to see things up close? This is most likely hyperopia or farsightedness. If left untreated, your child can suffer from constant headaches, tiredness, and concentration issues. Many children who are farsighted are often described as restless and get exhausted quickly, particularly when reading and writing.

Nearsightedness Myopia

NEARSIGHTEDNESS (MYOPIA)

When a child is nearsighted, they can see things up close clearly but not those in the distance. This is a result of the eyeball shape, usually when it is too long, or it could also be due to an excessively high eye lens refraction power. Light focuses too far in front of the retina rather than focusing on the retina itself.

Children with myopia read or watch TV too close. They also squint or blink rapidly, which helps them see objects that are far away.

Astigmatism

ASTIGMATISM

When the cornea is not perfectly curved, it can cause astigmatism, a condition characterised by blurry and distorted vision. Other symptoms include eye strain, fatigue, and headaches. Astigmatism is common in children, around 23% from six months to one year.

However, if it is severe, astigmatism is a risk factor for amblyopia (lazy eye), the leading cause of preventable vision loss in children.

Cross-Eyed Vision and Lazy Eye

CROSS-EYED VISION (STRABISMUS) & LAZY EYE (AMBLYOPIA)

Cross eyes or strabismus is uncommon, affecting only five per cent of the world population. It does not cause any pain where typically, one eye focuses incorrectly in a different direction. As a result, the brain forms two dissimilar images where one is sharp while the other is blurry. This condition forces the child to use the working eye more, which causes the other eye to stop developing its visual acuity. That’s where the term “lazy eye” was coined.

The neglected eye’s vision declines over time. Therefore, it is important for your child’s strabismus to be treated right away to avoid severe vision problems. Treatment for strabismus can range from simple spectacle correction, vision therapy, to appropriate and timely referral to an ophthalmologist who specialises in eye muscle surgery.

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Colour Vision Issues In Kids