Good vision allows our children to learn about the world more easily. Vision problems affect 1 in 20 preschoolers and 1 in 4 school-age children. Early intervention is the key to overcoming any vision difficulties that children may encounter. Programs, such as InfantSee, allow infants between the ages of 6-12 months to have an examination free of cost. The doctors at Fairway Eye Center are proud to participate in this important program.
Some of the most common eye conditions in kids include:
“Amblyopia is the medical term used when the vision in one of the eyes is reduced because the eye and the brain are not working together properly. The eye itself looks normal, but it is not being used normally because the brain is favoring the other eye. This condition is also sometimes called lazy eye.” The most common causes of amblyopia include strabimus, cataracts, and unequal focus. It can be treated with patching one eye, atropine drops, the correct prescription for nearsightedness or farsightedness or surgery. Early treatment is important.
Strabismus is a visual defect in which the two eyes point in different directions. One eye may turn in, out, up or down while the other eye may be straight. When this happens, two different pictures are sent to the brain. The brain will then ignore the picture from the misaligned eye . This causes a decrease in depth perception. In most cases, the eyes can be straightened through muscle surgery even into adulthood.
Cataracts are the progressive clouding of the normally clear lens inside the eye. They appear similar to a frosted window. A child may be born with them because of genetics, infection during pregnancy, or low birth weight. Cataracts can be removed with surgery.
Also known as pink eye, conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the clear mucous membrane that covers the white part of the eyeball and inside the eyelid. It is the most common type of eye infection and can spread easily.
- Never share personal items such as washcloths, hand towels or tissues.
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, and avoid rubbing or touching your eyes.
- Never (EVER) share your color contact lenses or special effect contacts with friends.
- Wash your hands frequently, especially when spending time at school or in other public places.
- Keep a hand disinfectant (e.g., Purell) handy and use it frequently.
- Frequently clean surfaces such as countertops, bathroom vanities, faucet handles and shared phones with an appropriate antiseptic cleaner.
- If you know you suffer from seasonal allergies, ask your doctor what can be done to minimize your symptoms before they begin.
- If you wear contacts, be sure to follow your eye doctor’s instructions for lens care and replacement, and use contact lens solutions properly or consider switching to daily disposable contacts.
- When swimming, wear swim goggles to protect yourself from bacteria and other microorganisms in the water that can cause conjunctivitis.
- Before showering, using a hot tub or being in water of any kind, remove your contact lenses to avoid trapping bacteria between your eyes and the lenses.
Although these are just a few of the most common eye conditions for kids, it is important to get regular eye exams from a professional to identify any eye conditions that might affect a child’s vision.