Familiarising yourself with the various common eye problems in children can help in early detection and treatment of any eye-related infection or vision issues that your child may have. Eyes are a window to the world; having vision problems can cause a lot of discomfort to the child. As parents, it is our duty to ensure that our kids are healthy and happy. One way of ensuring this is to be aware of common eye problems in children.
Common eye problems in children need early detection and treatment. Photo: iStock
List of common eye problems in children:
Myopia and Hyperopia
Myopia, also known as “nearsightedness”, is the condition where one cannot see objects in the distance clearly. On the other hand, Hyperopia, also known as “farsightedness”, refers to the condition where one cannot see nearby objects clearly. Symptoms of both these conditions include rubbing of the eyes and squinting. A child with myopia may start sitting closer to the TV, while a child with hyperopia may complain of frequent headaches. Both these conditions can be treated with vision-correction glasses.
Myopia is a condition that is usually first detected when you find that your child sits too close to the tv. Photo: iStock
Conjunctivitis, also known as “pink eye”, is a type of infection that can either be bacterial or viral. The symptoms involve itching, discharge, redness, crusted eyelashes and frequent tears. It is also a contagious infection. If your child has conjunctivitis, it is better to keep him home to avoid the infection from spreading and visit the doctor immediately. Conjunctivitis is usually treated with eye drops.
Astigmatism refers to the condition of the eyeballs taking on an oblong shape, instead of being round, and hence leading to blurred vision. A child suffering from astigmatism may rub their eyes or squint frequently. Astigmatism is usually corrected with prescription glasses or contact lenses.
Chalazion and Stye
Chalazion and Stye are similar but are different conditions. A chalazion is a swelling on the eyelid which is usually not painful. A stye, on the other hand, is a bump growing at the base of the eyelid and causes pain. The entire eyelid may be swollen in case of a stye. Both these conditions can be healed with a warm compress. If a compress does not cause the swelling to subside, you will need to visit your ophthalmologist.
Also known as ‘lazy eye’ or ‘crossed eyes’, strabismus occurs when the eyes are unable to maintain proper alignment. One eye is usually straight, while the other is misaligned inwards, outwards, upwards, or downwards.
A Lazy eye can be a condition that is permanent or can occur intermittently in some cases. Photo: iStock
This condition may persist permanently or may be an intermittent issue. Effective treatment must be started at an early age. Various modes of treating this condition include patching, glasses, surgery, exercises and a combination of all these treatments.
Epiphora entails excessive watering of the eyes due to a blocked tear duct, specifically of the tear duct that drains tears from the eyes to the nose. Kids outgrow this problem with time. However, correctional procedure may be required if the condition does not rectify itself within a period of 12 months.