Your Child's Visionenparents's important for kids to have their eyes examined regularly, as many vision problems and eye diseases can be detected and treated, eyesight, glasses, contacts, contact lenses, eye doctor, ophthalmologist, optometrist, vision screening, strabismus, lazy eyes, ambylopia, retinoblastoma, crossed eyes, strabismus, nearsightedness, farsightedness, nearsighted, farsighted, conjunctivitis, visual acuity, squints, squinting, frequent headaches, white pupils, rubbing eyes, difficulty focusing, my child can't see the blackboard, reading, sitting too close to the tv, how much can my child see, astigmatism, refractive errors, retinopathy of prematurity, congenital glaucoma, infantile cataracts, carrots, computers, colorblindness, ophthamology, ophthimology, ophthomology, opthomology, opthamology optho, ophtho, ophthalmologists, ophthalmology, CD1Ophthalmology, CD1Ophthalmological Surgery, CD1Ophthalmology, CD1Ophthalmological Surgery, CD1Eye Problems03/22/200004/30/201904/30/2019Jonathan H. Salvin, MD06/14/2014892d3a4f-f816-4903-a587-3514f79f4d68 <p>Healthy eyes and vision are a critical part of kids' development. Their eyes should be examined regularly, as many vision problems and eye diseases can be detected and treated early.</p> <h3>Eye Doctors</h3> <p>Be sure to make vision care and eye checks a part of your child's routine medical care.</p> <p>Different kinds of doctors offer eye care, and the names can be confusing:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li><strong>Ophthalmologists</strong> are medical doctors who provide comprehensive eye care with medicine and surgery.</li> <li><strong>Pediatric ophthalmologists</strong> are doctors who have additional special training to treat kids' eye problems.</li> <li><strong>Optometrists</strong> provide services that may be&nbsp;similar to ophthalmologists, but they don't perform surgery. Some optometrists specialize in kids' eye problems.</li> <li><strong>Opticians</strong> fit and adjust eyeglasses.</li> </ul> <h3>Eye Exams</h3> <p>Routine medical exams for kids' vision include:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Newborns should be checked for general eye health by a pediatrician or family physician in the hospital nursery.</li> <li>High-risk newborns (including premature infants), those with a family history of eye problems, and those with obvious eye irregularities should be examined by an eye doctor.</li> <li>In the first year of life, all infants should be routinely screened for eye health during checkups with their pediatrician or family doctor.</li> <li>Around age 3½, kids should have eye health screenings and visual acuity tests (tests that measure sharpness of vision) with their pediatrician or family doctor.</li> <li>Around age 5, kids should have their vision and eye alignment checked by their pediatrician or family doctor. Those who fail either test should be examined by an eye&nbsp;doctor.</li> <li>After age 5, routine screenings should be done at school and the primary doctor's office, and if symptoms such as squinting or frequent headaches occur. (Many times, a teacher will notice that&nbsp;a child isn't seeing well in class.)</li> <li>Kids who wear prescription glasses or contacts should have annual checkups by an eye doctor to screen for vision changes.</li> </ul> <h3>Spotting Eye Problems</h3> <p>Signs that a child may have vision problems include:</p> <ul type="disc"> <li>constant eye rubbing</li> <li>extreme light sensitivity</li> <li>poor focusing</li> <li>poor visual tracking (following an object)</li> <li>abnormal alignment or movement of the eyes (after 6 months of age)</li> <li>chronic redness of the eyes</li> <li>chronic tearing of the eyes</li> <li>a white pupil instead of black</li> </ul> <p>In school-age children, other signs to&nbsp;watch for include:</p> <ul type="disc"> <li>being unable&nbsp;to see objects at a distance</li> <li>having trouble reading the blackboard</li> <li>squinting</li> <li>difficulty reading</li> <li>sitting too close to the TV</li> </ul> <p>Watch your child for signs of poor vision or crossed eyes. If you notice any eye problems, have your child examined right away&nbsp;so that the problem doesn't become permanent. If caught early, eye conditions often can be corrected.</p> <h3>Common Eye Problems</h3> <p>Several eye conditions can affect kids. Most are detected by a vision screening using an acuity chart during the preschool years.</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li><strong>Amblyopia</strong> ("lazy eye") is poor vision in an eye that may appear to be normal. Two common causes are crossed eyes and a difference in the refractive error between the two eyes. If untreated, amblyopia can cause irreversible visual loss in the affected eye. (By then, the brain's "programming" will ignore signals from that eye.) Amblyopia is best treated as early as possible, ideally before a child is&nbsp;8 years old.</li> <li><strong>Strabismus</strong> is a misalignment of the eyes; they may turn in, out, up, or down. If the same eye is chronically misaligned, amblyopia may also develop in that eye. With early detection, vision can be restored by patching the properly aligned eye, which forces the misaligned one to work. Surgery or specially designed glasses also may help the eyes to align.</li> <li><strong>Refractive errors</strong> mean that the shape of the eye doesn't refract (bend) light properly, so images appear blurred. Refractive errors also can cause amblyopia. Nearsightedness is the most common refractive error in school-age children; others include farsightedness and astigmatism: <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li><strong>Nearsightedness</strong> is poor distance vision (also called myopia), which is usually treated with glasses or contacts.</li> <li><strong>Farsightedness</strong> (also called hyperopia), which is usually treated with glasses or contacts.</li> <li><strong>Astigmatism</strong> is imperfect curvature of the front surface of the eye, which is usually treated with glasses if it causes blurred vision or discomfort.</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p>Other eye conditions need immediate attention, such as <strong><a href="">retinopathy of prematurity</a></strong> (a disease that affects the eyes of premature babies) and those associated with a family history, including:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li><strong><a href="">Retinoblastoma</a></strong> is a malignant tumor that usually appears in the first 3 years of life. The affected eye or eyes&nbsp;may have visual loss and whiteness in the pupil.</li> <li><strong>Infantile cataracts</strong> can occur in newborns. A cataract is a clouding of the eye's lens.</li> <li><strong>Congenital glaucoma</strong> in infants is a rare condition that may be inherited. It is the result of high pressure in the eye from&nbsp;incorrect or incomplete development of the eye drainage canals before birth and can be treated with medication and surgery.</li> <li><strong>Genetic or metabolic diseases of the eye</strong>, such as inherited disorders that make a child more likely to develop retinoblastoma or cataracts, may require kids to have eye exams at an early age and regular screenings.</li> </ul> <p>Be sure to talk to your doctor if your child is at risk for any of these conditions.</p> <h3>Glasses and Contacts</h3> <p>Kids of all ages &mdash; even babies &mdash; can wear glasses and contacts.</p> <p>Keep these tips in mind for kids who wear glasses:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Let kids pick their own frames.</li> <li>Plastic frames are best for children younger than 2.</li> <li>If older kids wear metal frames, make sure they have spring hinges, which are more durable.</li> <li>An elastic strap attached to the glasses will help keep them in place for active toddlers.</li> <li>Kids with severe eye problems may need special lenses called high-index lenses, which are thinner and lighter than plastic lenses.</li> <li>Polycarbonate lenses are best for all kids, especially those who play sports. Polycarbonate is a tough, shatterproof, clear thermoplastic used to make thin, light lenses. However, although they're very impact-resistant, these lenses scratch more easily than plastic lenses.</li> </ul> <p>Babies born with congenital cataracts may need to have the cataracts surgically removed during the first few weeks of life. Some wear contact lenses after cataract surgery.</p> <p>Around age 10, kids may want to&nbsp;get contact lenses for cosmetic reasons or if they play sports. To wear contacts, a child will need to know how to insert and remove lenses properly, take them out as required, and clean them as recommended by the doctor. Contact lens problems are almost always due to&nbsp;poor habits and bad hygiene.</p> <p>Your eye doctor can help you decide what type of vision correction is best for your child.</p> La vista de su hijoNo hay nada como mirar a los ojos de un hijo. Pero mientras está ocupado mirando a su hijo, asegúrese de prestar atención a su visión. La detección y el tratamiento precoz de los problemas de la vista son esenciales para la salud visual de su hijo.
A to Z: IridocyclitisLearn more about conditions of the eyes and factors that may contribute to vision loss.
AmblyopiaAmblyopia interferes with the way the eye and the brain work together. The result is poor vision. Treatment may involve glasses, patches, eye drops, or surgery.
BlindnessKids who can't see, or can't see well, learn to live without using their eyes. To learn more about visual impairment and what causes it, read our article for kids.
CataractsDo you know an older person who has cataracts? Find out about this vision problem in this article for kids.
Eye InjuriesYou can treat many minor eye irritations by flushing the eye, but more serious injuries require medical attention.
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Glasses and Contact LensesSometimes the different parts of the eye don't work together the way they should. When this happens, people wear glasses or contact lenses. Find out more in this article for kids.
RetinoblastomaRetinoblastoma is a childhood cancer that affects the retina, the area of the eye responsible for sensing light and sending nerve signals to the brain.
Retinopathy of PrematurityRetinopathy of prematurity, which can happen in premature babies, causes abnormal blood vessel growth in the retina. Some children will need surgery to prevent vision loss or blindness.
StrabismusStrabismus causes eyes to wander or cross. Treatment may include glasses, patches, eye drops, or surgery.
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Why Do Eyes Water?What does it mean when your eyes water? It's not the same as crying - or is it?
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