A child’s 1st eye exam should be at 6 months, 3 years of age and yearly during school age years. Early detection and treatment of children’s vision problems are critical. Once treated, your child has greater potential to succeed. Childhood eye conditions, left untreated can be more difficult to correct. The good news is that we can detect most eye problems during regular eye examinations. The three most common types of eye problems found in children are:
Amblyopia (lazy eye)
“Lazy eye” is caused when a child’s eye has not received enough stimulation.
It can also result from crossed eyes. Simply put, when one eye is stronger and focuses better than the other, that one eye dominates, and the weaker eye becomes less useful.
In children, when the eyeball is too short for normal focusing, light from close objects is not focused clearly on the retina, so close objects appear blurry. Babies and young children tend to be slightly hyperopic as their eye develop.
Strabismus (crossed eye or wall eye)
When a child’s eye muscles are not equally coordinated, the muscles that help the eyes work as a team do not work correctly. The result is that one eye does not aim directly at the same object as the other eye. An occasional or constant condition, the eye can turn inward toward the child’s nose (crossed eye) or outward in the other direction (wall eye). If left untreated, strabismus can lead to amblyopia or lazy eye.
Less common causes of vision problems among children include:
- Color Blindness
- Retinopathy of premature infants