August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month, and while not as common as adults, children in Paducah, KY can develop eye problems too. Given the severity, these vision issues can cause vision loss. These eye problems may also interfere with other aspects of the kid’s life. Knowing these pediatric eye conditions as soon as they appear can help parents get the treatment their child needs as soon as possible.
- Lazy Eye: Also known by its medical term Amblyopia, it is the condition where one eye is weaker than the other eye. The American Academy of Ophthalmology has stated that It is a common condition in children. It can develop because of other eye problems. Treatment includes using eyepatches on the strong eye to work on strengthening the weaker eye. Blurry eyeglasses and eye drops are also an option. It can take months for the treatment to work.
- Pediatric Cataracts: This is when a lens in the eye begins clouding. The lens is normally clear, but when it becomes cloudy, it can cause blurred vision. This can develop as early as infancy or develop at some other time during childhood. It can be caused by unknown reasons or it can be caused by genetic diseases or infections. Surgery is the go-to treatment for this condition.
- Strabismus: Occasionally referred to as cross-eyed, this condition is the misalignment of the eyes. The eye might turn upwards, downwards, inwards, or outwards. The misalignment can be present constantly or it can also happen every so often. This may develop as early as infancy but can develop at any point during childhood. This condition can be caused by various things but can include other medical conditions like cerebral palsy. Children who have a family history of this condition are also at risk. Treatment includes surgery, wearing Botox Injections, or wearing an eyepatch.
- Refractive Conditions: A common eye condition in children that includes things like farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism. Nearsightedness means you have a harder time seeing things far away than up-close. farsightedness is the opposite of this, meaning you see things easier at a distance than up close. Astigmatism occurs when there is an uneven curvature of the cornea. This affects the passage of light into the eye which causes blurry vision.
- Leukocoria: Also known as the white pupil, this is when there is a strange white reflection coming from the retina of the eye. This is typically first spotted by family members in photographs. This can be a sign of retinoblastoma, a form of cancer that develops quickly in the retina. This condition is also associated with other conditions like strabismus. If you notice the signs of this condition, do not hesitate to contact an eye doctor to schedule an appointment.
More Information on Eye Diseases in Children
If you notice that your child exhibits any signs of eye issues, take them to see an eye doctor as soon as you can. While not all eye issues can operantly damage vision, it’s best to take care of the issues as early as possible. Children who have a family history of certain eye conditions have an increased risk of having those eye conditions. While not being entirely possible to prevent every kind of childhood eye problem, there are ways to decrease the risks.
Encourage your child to live a healthy lifestyle and eat a healthy diet. This will decrease their risk of type 2 diabetes which can cause eye issues. Avoid smoking during pregnancy. Schedule age-appropriate vision screenings for your child, even if they are not at an increased risk of vision problems.
If you have any questions about your child’s eyes or would like to schedule an appointment, call our team over at Brush Optical today.