Are These 4 Eye Conditions Affecting Your Child?

As a working mom myself, I know how hectic the end of summer can be. There’s uniforms and school books to buy, schedules to organize and lunches to prep. But is your child’s eye exam on your back to school checklist?

No? It should be and here’s why. 

Often children suddenly experience a problem with their vision as they go into a new year at school even though they may not have previously suffered from any symptoms.

Your child’s vision is crucial for their ability to learn and perform at their highest potential. As a parent, you need to make sure their vision is clear and consistent throughout their schooling to ensure they have the best long-term development. 

If you’ve noticed your child straining, squinting or having trouble reading they might be suffering from one of these four conditions.

Myopia (nearsightedness)

This is the inability to see objects at a distance clearly due to the eyeball being slightly longer than usual from front to back. While myopia is often caused by genetics, it has also been linked to performing detailed or up-close work, such as reading a book too closely. The most common symptoms are headaches, eyestrain and fatigue when having to focus on something more than a few feet away.

Hyperopia (farsightedness)

If your child suffers from farsightedness, they’ll be able to see faraway objects clearly but have trouble seeing things that are close. They’ll often struggle with tasks like reading, and if they’re only suffering from a mild form of farsightedness they may not need treatment as their eyes can often adjust to make up for the problem. Glasses and contacts are an easy fix in most cases. 

Astigmatism (imperfectly curved cornea)

Often causing blurry vision, astigmatism is where the cornea (the clear outer layer of the eye) is shaped more like a football than a healthy dome-shape. It’s more common in infants and often clears up on its own by the time the child is one year old. However if left untreated, can cause learning difficulties in school. 

Strabismus (misaligned eyes)

Also known as turned eyes, cross eyes, squint or lazy eyes, strabismus happens when the eyes point in different directions. For some children, this may be noticeable all the time but with others, it might come and go. While some children are born with strabismus, others develop the condition as they get older. 

The good news is, all these problems can be managed by your optometrist to ensure they have a minimal effect on your child’s learning abilities. While your child’s school may perform in-school screenings, these are often not comprehensive enough, so I’d still recommend booking in to see your optometrist directly for a check-up.

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