Vision issues affect your child’s behavior and performance in school, but often go unnoticed by parents, caregivers, and even some pediatricians. Kids may not tell you they’re having trouble seeing, or they may not even realize it. After all, this is the way they’ve always seen the world.
At Penguin Pediatrics, your child’s entire health and well-being is our utmost concern. As part of wellness exams, we perform comprehensive age-appropriate vision screening tests to spot problems.
Vision issues in children
Here’s the rundown on three common eye conditions we see in pediatric patients in our offices in Ashburn and Stone Ridge, Virginia.
1. Lazy eye
Even if your child’s eyes appear normal, one eye may have poor vision due to one eye being weaker. This condition, known as “lazy eye” or amblyopia, can be due to crossed eyes or because of a refractive issue, which is the ability of the eye to bend light. If not treated, amblyopia can result in permanent vision loss.
Treatment should begin as soon as the condition is noticed and is best before a child is 8 years old. Options include vision exercises, patching the healthy eye (so the weaker eye must work), eye drops, and surgery.
2. Refractive errors
Refractive errors occur when the cornea or lens fails to bend the light normally. Refractive errors result in issues such as:
Farsightedness -- poor close vision
Astigmatism -- imperfect curvature of the front surface of the eye
Refractive errors in only one eye may cause amblyopia.
3. Misalignment of the eyes
The clinical term for misalignment of the eyes is strabismus. Misalignment may cause the eyes to turn out, in, up, or down. Amblyopia can develop in a misaligned eye. For children with strabismus, surgery or specially designed glasses can help restore proper alignment.
Recognizing vision issues
Your child may not tell you they’re having vision issues, but they may show you. Be concerned if you notice your child is extremely sensitive to light or regularly rubs their eyes, even when not tired.
In very young children, you may notice that your child has trouble focusing or can’t follow an object well with their eyes. Chronic tearing, redness, or unusual pupils are other issues we can address at your appointment here at Penguin Pediatrics.
School-age children may complain about not being able to see the board or projector in class, or they may sit too close to the television or their devices at home. You may notice them squinting or being unable to read signs or see images at a distance.
At our office, Dr. Umesh Kodu we do Vision Screening ( Photo Screening) if they’re too young to participate in traditional chart reading. We can also evaluate whether your child has misalignment issues.
The most common vision issues are reversible, especially with prescription lenses. Kids of just about any age, even babies, can wear glasses.
For all of your child’s health needs, consult Dr. Kodu and our team at Penguin Pediatrics. Call today to schedule their appointment or book online.