Children are special, and we all love them! But what if they have vision problems and are unable to see?
Older children may be able to tell you that they are not able to see, but when it comes to younger children, who have not yet learned to speak, it is our responsibility to note these warning signs and take them to an eye doctor immediately.
1. Child bumps into obstacles too often
While it is normal for a child to trip and fall every now and then, but if you notice that they are unable to notice objects around them or are bumping into obstacles too frequently, it may be a sign of low vision in that child.
Do take the child to an ophthalmologist and get their eyes tested.
2. Child fails to notice toys
Children love toys! But if you notice that a child is constantly unable to see toys around them, it may be a warning that the child’s vision may not be developing normally and you need to get them examined by an eye doctor.
3. Child rubs their eyes too often
If you notice that a child is rubbing their eyes, or squeezing their eyes too frequently, it may be because they may be facing difficulty in seeing clearly.
4. You see a whitish color in the child pupil
Normally, the child’s pupil is black in color. If you see a white color in the pupil, it could be because of a cataract or more serious conditions of the retina.
Immediate consultation with your eye doctor is needed if you see a whitish color in one or both pupils of a child.
5. The child has a squint
If you notice a squint in a child, it is likely that the vision in the squinting eye is poor.
Please understand that squint is not just a cosmetic problem. In most cases, squint results from poor vision in a child. The underlying cause should be treated and the squint must be corrected as soon as possible.
However, if the squint is not corrected in time, the vision in the squinting eye will remain poor permanently.
6. The child has a head tilt
Children have a tendency to tilt their head at different angles to view objects. However if you notice that a head tilt is present constantly, it may be a sign that the child has a vision problem and the child is trying to see better by tilting their head at a particular angle.
Immediate consultation with an eye doctor is required. If this head tilt is left uncorrected, not only will the vision remain poor, but the child may also develop spinal problems.
7. Child holds books too close to the face
If a child holds books, or any reading or writing material too close to their face, it may be a sign that the vision is poor and the child is trying to see better by bringing the book close to their eyes.
8. Constant eye movements
If you notice constant side-to-side or rotatory movements of the child’s eyes, it is a warning sign that the child’s vision is poor.
The medical term for these involuntary eye movements is “nystagmus”. These are basically small “searching movements” made by the eyes because they are unable to focus on objects around them due to poor vision.
Your eye doctor will be able to examine the child and determine the cause of nystagmus and treat it accordingly.
If you observe any of these signs in a child, you need to take them urgently to an ophthalmologist.
What are the causes of vision problems in children?
Vision causes in children can arise due to refractive errors, cataract, glaucoma and retinal diseases.
I will be discussing the details of these conditions in one of my upcoming blogs.
Why is it important to treat vision problems in a child as urgently as possible?
Children are not born with full vision. They “learn” to see as they learn to speak and walk. For the development of normal vision, the eyes need to be normal.
If any eye disease is present, it will cause vision problems in children, therefore early diagnosis and treatment is essential.
Even if there are no signs of vision problems present, it is recommended to take your child for a routine checkup every year, starting from 6 months to 12 years of age.
If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ll see you soon in my next blog. Till then take good care of your eyes and stay healthy!