Regular eye checkups are an absolute must during childhood because problems with vision can almost always be treatable when discovered early. What’s more, even if the child doesn’t see well, it’s essential for parents and the doctor to introduce glasses as soon as possible so that the kid can get used to wearing them. Sometimes, vision can deteriorate even more if glasses remain neglected. Of course, there are other eye diseases that also deserve immediate attention, even when they’re not related to the quality of the child’s vision.
When vision is concerned, there are three major problems. These are shortsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Shortsightedness (also known as nearsightedness) presents a difficulty in properly seeing things that are far in the distance. On the other hand, farsightedness (also known as long sightedness) is a vision impairment that causes difficulty in properly seeing things that are up close. Finally, astigmatism, which can also be hereditary, is an impairment that involves a specific eye curvature that consequently distorts the vision. It’s very important for parents to keep in mind the possibility of these refractive errors in childhood, especially those that don’t have any similar issues themselves.
Red Or Dry Eyes
Red or dry eyes is a common eye problem in kids of all ages in this digital era. After all, children spend a lot of time in front of screens, be it TV, computer or smartphone. If you notice that this is probably the main cause of red or dry eyes in your kid, it would be wise to limit their time with tech gadgets, or at least urge them to take a break every 20 minutes to rest their eyes. Red or dry eyes can also be an issue in very warm climates due to the strong sun, such as in Australia. Protecting your child with proper sunglasses that have UV protection as well as getting them used to eye drops can help with this issue. But, it’s still important to take your kid to the doctors so that you’re completely sure about the cause and the cure.
A Lazy Eye (Strabismus)
A lazy eye or misaligned eye is another common eye problem in kids. Essentially, one eye moves excessively up, down, right or left compared to the other, healthy eye. This problem typically occurs due to the vision impairment in just one eye. Basically, the affected eye tries to find the best position to see better. In this case, it’s important that you know your eye doctors. Ophthalmologists provide proper eye care, treatment and surgery if necessary and there are specialized pediatric ophthalmologists. Optometrists don’t perform surgery but generally provide similar care and medical eye treatment as ophthalmologists, and they too can specialize in eye problems in kids. Finally, opticians deal with eyeglasses. And remember, even if you live in a big metropolis such as Sydney, always strive to find the most reputable optometrist in Sydney because it will be worth it. Working with kids and adults is not the same, and you need to trust a professional who can manage it well.
Pink eye is one of the main reasons why red or dry eyes shouldn’t be taken lightly. If the eye is red, this may point to pink eye or conjunctivitis. This is a serious eye issue that’s usually caused by inflammation or infection. Pink eye can also be contagious. Usually, antibiotics are needed. Also, parents have to make sure that the kids keep their hands away from the eyes and wash them regularly. For non-contagious pink eye, eye drops can often be an effective solution. Again, for people who live in Australian-like warm climates, using eye drops can also be a prevention from possible irritation that may lead to pink eye flare-ups.
When talking to your child about going to the eye doctor, don’t let them feel the panic in your voice. Be calm and kind, and treat this situation like a part of your daily life. You don’t want your kid to develop fear from eye doctors even before the checkup, and especially not if it turns out that they’ll have to go more often.
Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in topics related to health and alternative medicine. In her free time she enjoys exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family.