Dr. Jim Martin 07/20/2015

3736823_orig.pngMany kids may have vision issues, but may not have the words to verbalize these problems. As parents, you need to be vigilant about your children’s eye health. Here are a few common issues kids may face as they grow.

1. Crossed Eyes

Though this condition may be noticeable at birth, it may not be detected until your child is 18 months old. Crossed eyes can compromise your child's vision, and needs to be fixed as soon as possible to avoid later development of vision problems.

2. Unfocused Eyes/Lazy Eye

It may seem like your child has one dominant eye and one that simply won't focus, sometimes referred to as a lazy eye. If this condition isn't treated, the lazy eye could suffer vision loss that is irreversible. A lazy eye is considered a fairly severe situation that requires immediate treatment. Your child's dominant eye will take over, and the lazy eye will become weaker until vision is permanently lost. Check to see if your child can look straight at you or an object without one eye becoming unfocused or turning out or in. Talk to your doctor about treatment methods for this condition.

3. Nearsightedness/Farsightedness

The most common problem with school age children is nearsightedness or farsightedness. Common symptoms of this include inability to see the blackboard at school, trouble reading, squinting, reporting headaches after reading or doing homework, or reporting blurry vision. These conditions are easily treated with contact lenses and/or prescription glasses.

4. Eye Infections

Kids often rub their eyes, especially with dirty hands, so it's not unheard of for kids to contract eye infections. Symptoms of eye infections include red eyes, mucus in the eyes, rubbing the eyes, eye crusts, and eye tearing. Contact an optometrist to receive proper treatment, which may include prescription ointment or eye drops.

5. Cataracts

Congenital cataracts may be a hereditary condition. If this runs in your family and if your child exhibits eye cloudiness, specifically at birth, you may need to take your child to an eye specialist for treatment.

Every child, regardless of symptoms reported, should receive an eye exam by age 3 by a pediatrician, and by age 5 by an eye doctor. When making your child's back to school appointments, call Broome Optical in Amarillo to schedule a check up.

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