When it comes to a child’s eyesight, parents play an important role. But it’s not always easy to spot if something is wrong. Below are some of the most common kids’ eye problems as well as their associated symptoms. If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, it may indicate that a trip to the eye doctor is in order sooner than later. Your eye doctor can help you determine whether your child needs glasses after evaluating his or her vision with a comprehensive eye exam.
More commonly known as “nearsightedness,” this vision problem occurs when a child can’t see objects in the distance clearly while those nearby are clear. Look for signs of squinting and eye rubbing. Your child may also start sitting closer to the TV or may lose his or her place while reading. If so, he or she may need vision correction.
More commonly known as “farsightedness,” this vision problem occurs when a child can’t see objects nearby clearly but can see objects in the distance clearly. Like nearsightedness, this condition can be easily treated with glasses. Look for signs of squinting and eye rubbing. Another indication may be if your child complains about headaches frequently.
This common condition can cause blurred vision. The eye ball is supposed to be round, but sometimes it’s more of a “football” shape. In most cases, your eye doctor can prescribe glasses or contacts to address the problem. As with the conditions above, your child may squint or rub his or her eyes as a symptom.
More commonly known as “pink eye,” this condition is an infection that can be viral or bacterial. Symptoms can include redness, itching, burning, discharge, crusted eyelashes, and increased tears. Pink eye is often very contagious, so if your child is showing these symptoms, you’ll want to keep him or her home for the day until you visit the eye doctor. Many times, the eye doctor will prescribe eye drops to clear the infection.
Similar but different, both a chalazion and a stye can be quite uncomfortable for your child. A chalazion is a swollen bump on the eyelid, while a stye grows at the base of the eyelid and is caused by a bacterial infection. A chalazion is not usually painful, but a stye is. Also, your child’s whole eyelid may swell with a stye. Repeated use of a warm compress can help both conditions. If not, it may require treatment from your eye doctor.
Should you notice that your child has any of the above symptoms, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.
If you don’t have vision insurance, VSP Individual Vision Plans can help you save on your next eye exam and glasses.