With Summer well underway the last thing we want to think about is making appointments for our children when they could be out enjoying the sun and the sea. But summer is the ideal time to book your child an eye test, keeping their eyes healthy ahead of the next school year.
There are a number of eye conditions in children that we need to keep an eye on to ensure they don’t get worse. At Reynolds Opticians we have outlined the five common eye conditions in children, helping you to identify the signs and get your child checked in plenty of time.
1. Amblyopia (AKA Lazy Eye)
One of the most common eye conditions in children, that is potentially easier for parents or guardians to notice, is amblyopia, which is also known as a lazy eye.
A lazy eye indicates that one eye hasn’t developed visually as much as the other eye, creating a weaker eye that tends to ‘wander’. It is rare for a lazy eye to affect both eyes, but not impossible.
Amblyopia is most common in children up to the age of seven years old and is the leading cause of reduced vision in children.
Signs you can look out for include difficulty paying attention, difficulty reading, frequent eye irritation including squinting or rubbing and head tilting.
2. Binocular Vision Dysfunction
BVD happens when both eyes do not work together due to a misalignment. This means that your child may have trouble focusing on something as it takes a while for both of their eyes to catch up with each other.
BVD has a variety of symptoms to look out for, including dizziness, headaches, light sensitivity, motion sickness, stress, double vision and fatigue. If your child seems to be frequently suffering from any of the symptoms listed then an eye test is needed for diagnosis.
3. Paediatric Cataracts
Cataracts are not just an issue found amongst adults, with over 20,000 children born with paediatric cataracts. Cataracts appear due to changes in the lens of the eye, causing a cloudy or misty layer that affects a child’s vision.
If you are concerned about paediatric cataracts, check your child for grey or white coloured pupils or difficulty recognizing faces and seeing objects. These are all signs of paediatric cataracts.
4. Refractive Error
Refractive error happens when the eyes struggle to focus light on the retina. This can lead to blurred vision and is caused by irregularities in the shape of the eyeball. It may also be referred to as astigmatism, myopia or hyperopia, but tends to encompass more than one of these conditions.
Strabismus is commonly found in children and refers to being cross-eyed. A Strabismus indicates that the eye muscles are not working together, causing a misalignment in the visual direction.
A strabismus can be difficult to see, especially in young children as it may appear to change day by day, or be misdiagnosed as a lazy eye.
If you are worried your child may have strabismus, watch out for eyes that face different directions, excessive squinting or head tilting. In the case of these symptoms, it is always best to book your child in for a vision test.
Discover Paediatric Eye Care and Treatment at Reynolds Opticians
Diagnosing and treating eye conditions in children is important, with regular eye tests keeping everything in check to ensure no eye conditions worsen over time.