As parents, it’s important that we are constantly aware of our child’s health and wellbeing. To properly look out for your child’s eye health, it’s important that you understand common eye diseases in children and how they may present, plus the importance of regular eye exams for your child, starting as early as just 6 months of age.
Amblyopia–more commonly known as a lazy eye–is a condition in which one of the child’s eyes is dominant, leaving the other to develop on its own and usually poorly. If left untreated, this can cause permanent issues with eyesight and eye strength as the child develops into an adult. If caught early enough, amblyopia can be treated effectively.
Extremely common in both adults and children, astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness are all conditions in which abnormalities of the surface prevent light from properly being focused on the retina. This is the primary need for glasses in both children and adults and can be remedied with prescription lenses.
Strabismus refers to when both eyes do not move in tandem, meaning that one eye is usually pointed in a different direction (up, down, right, left). Fortunately, strabismus is very easy to identify due to its outward appearance and can be remedied through surgery, botox injections, or eyepatch therapy. If not treated correctly or on time, strabismus can lead to poor vision and other health issues.
What To Look Out For
As a parent, it’s important to keep a lookout for any changes in your child’s appearance or behaviour. Here are some of the most common signs to look out for that indicate your child may be in need of an eye examination:
- There’s a change in your child’s appearance (one eye is larger than the other, one pupil is not following the other)
- An excess of tearing, watering, or discharge from your child’s eyes
- Your child is experiencing a new sensitivity to light
- Your child holds books or puzzles very close to their eyes, or sits very close to the television
- Your child’s head continues to turn to the side
The Importance Of Eye Exams
Eye exams are a vital part of your child’s overall health. Not only do eye exams help to determine if your child is in need of glasses, but they’re also great indicators of diseases of the eye and other bodily diseases. Diseases like the ones listed above, diabetes, cataracts, and several others can be identified through an eye examination. It’s recommended that children under the age of twenty should be scheduled for annual eye examinations as eye vision and eye health will change drastically throughout childhood and adolescence.
If it’s time to schedule an eye exam for your child, appointments are
available throughout Canada next to many Hakim Optical locations.
Hakim Optical has been proudly serving Canadians for over 55 years.