As a parent, you place your child's vision and health at the top of your priorities. Vision issues can affect children of all ages. It makes it crucial for you to be aware of the most common problems. Below are the most common vision issues in children, their causes, and treatment options.
Myopia, commonly referred to as shortsightedness, is a prevalent vision anomaly in children. It occurs when the eyeball is abnormally long. It causes light to get directed in front of the retina instead of on it.
This results in blurred vision when looking at objects far away. Myopia is often hereditary, so if you are myopic, your child's chances of developing it are higher. However, it can also be linked to excessive screen time, reading in low light conditions, and more.
The most common treatment for myopia in children is wearing glasses or contact lenses. Another option is orthokeratology, a noninvasive procedure that involves wearing specialized contact lenses overnight to reshape the cornea temporarily. In some cases, laser eye surgery may be recommended for older children.
Hyperopia occurs when distant objects appear clear but close-up objects appear blurry. Also known as farsightedness, it occurs when the eyeball is extremely short, causing light to get directed behind the retina instead of on it. Like myopia, hyperopia can be hereditary. However, it can also develop due to eyestrain or certain medical conditions.
Like myopia, hyperopia is treated with corrective lenses, including glasses or contact lenses. Some children outgrow the condition. Otherwise, surgery may be an option if hyperopia persists.
Astigmatism occurs when your little one's cornea or the lens inside their eye has an irregular shape. This often causes blurred or distorted vision. It can occur alongside myopia or hyperopia or on its own. Like other refractive errors, astigmatism is usually hereditary.
If your child suffers an eye injury, the condition can also develop. Astigmatism is typically treated with glasses or contact lenses with a cylindrical prescription. Surgery may be performed in severe cases.
Amblyopia occurs when your child's brain favors one eye over the other. This can happen if one eye has a significantly stronger prescription than the other. It can also be a result of misalignment between the eyes. The condition can result in permanent vision loss in the weaker eye if left untreated.
The most effective treatment for amblyopia is patching. This entails covering the stronger eye with a patch for a few hours daily which forces the weaker eye to work harder. Vision therapy may also be recommended to help the brain develop better connections with the weaker eye.
Strabismus is a condition in which one or both eyes turn in, out, up, or down, causing the eyes not to work together. This may result in double vision, poor depth perception, and eyestrain. It can be caused by several factors, such as muscle imbalances, neurological issues, or eye injuries. Treatment for strabismus may include wearing glasses or eye patches, vision therapy, or surgery to realign the eye muscles.
For more on children's vision issues, visit Eye Care Associates in San Bernardino at our San Bernardino, California office. Call (909) 316-2100 to schedule an appointment today.