Healthy vision is an important part of your child’s development. It’s particularly important to identify any issues with a child’s eyesight early on and treat them accordingly.
You should have your child examined regularly by an optician to ensure that their sight is developing correctly and no further action is needed.
How To Spot Symptoms Of Eye Conditions In Children
Parents or family members are best placed to spot issues in a child’s eye health quickly. Your child may not be able to recognise signs of infection or deterioration in their eye health themselves, so it’s especially important to look out for any symptoms or early warning signs they may display when at home. If caught early enough then many children’s eye conditions can be corrected, so it’s important to get your child seen by an expert as soon as possible.
At Reynolds & Slater, our expert opticians have been trained to spot eye conditions in children, including looking for signs and symptoms that may be overlooked. Below we have listed some common signs and symptoms of eye conditions or sight deterioration in children that loved ones can look out for.
#1 Struggling To Read
Is your child struggling to read? We can be quick to blame reading difficulties on a child’s abilities or attention span, however, it may be something more. Difficulty when learning to read may be due to a child’s vision, not a language or development issue. If your child is struggling to read, take the time to observe why, are they holding the book very close to their face or squinting while they read? Or do they lose focus and become frustrated? Taking your child to an optician for an eye examination is the ideal way to check that your child is not suffering in silence with any visual impairments that they may not notice themselves.
#2 Sitting Close To The TV
A key indication of visual impairments or conditions in young children is sitting close to a television, or holding an iPad close to their faces when watching their favourite shows. Are they choosing to sit close to the TV, or squinting when watching the screen? Nearsightedness is a common occurrence in children and can be treated with glasses or contact lenses.
Your child may also be struggling to focus on the images on the screen. In this case, you may also notice squinting as a symptom, in addition to unfocused eyes or an inability to follow the storyline.
If you notice any of the above symptoms in your child you may want to get your child’s eyesight checked for any undetected conditions.
#3 Difficulty Differentiating Colours
Colour blindness is a common eye condition, even in children. If your child is colour blind they may have trouble telling the difference between greens, browns, reds or oranges, or they may have the rarer blue-yellow colour blindness which makes differentiating between blue and yellow difficult for children.
Most children that suffer from colour blindness tend to be boys, with approximately 8% of young boys suffering from red-green colourblindness.
If your child is struggling to identify colours, or read texts and images where numerous colours are involved, then they may be colour-blind. Certain colours such as blue and yellow or red and green can be particularly hard to distinguish for children with the condition.
#4 Suffering From Itchy Eyes
Nobody likes to feel uncomfortable, but unfortunately, some eye conditions found in children come with some irritating symptoms. Itchiness, teary eyes, red eyes and more are all abnormalities that can show a problem or irritation with the eyes, from hay fever to something more serious.
Frequent blinking and light sensitivity are other symptoms of irritation, look out for your child frequently touching or rubbing their eyes. Check your child for any physical symptoms such as swollen or red eyelids, increased tear production or any discharge from the corners of the eyes.
If you notice any physical eye irritation or symptoms in your child, an eye test with a qualified optician can get to the root of the issue, providing the right treatment for whatever eye condition or issue your child may have.
#5 Poor Eye Movement
A more noticeable eye condition warning sign is if your child has trouble tracking movement. If your child has troubles such as following an object with their eyes, or they have abnormal eye alignment or movement, then you should take them to see an optician.
Misalignment or abnormalities in a child’s eye movement can indicate slightly more serious eye conditions, including myopia, strabismus or a lazy eye. These conditions could be due to a weakness in the muscles surrounding the eyes or to something exterior, but in any case, they should be checked and monitored with regular eye tests to ensure any visual issues are corrected.
Book Regular Eye Tests For Your Child At Reynolds & Slater
Regular eye tests for children are necessary to help prevent any issues or catch any eye conditions before they worsen. Protecting our children’s eyes, especially when they are in school, is crucial to ensuring they are able to learn effectively without any additional trouble.
To book your child in for a painless and simple eye test today, get in touch with our friendly team at Reynolds & Slater Opticians and receive the very best eye care available.