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Childrens eyecare

PROBLEMS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN CHILDREN'S EYES

In Infants:

  • Eyes turning in or out (a Squint)
  • One eye bigger than the other
  • Frequent rubbing of the eyes
  • Discomfort in bright light
  • Watery eyes
  • A red spot in one eye

In Toddlers & Young Children:

  • Sitting too close to the television
  • Holding books very close
  • Clumsiness
  • Sore looking eyes or eyelids
  • Trouble with colours
  • Blinking a lot or screwing up the eyes

In Older Children:

  • Headaches or eyestrain
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Words moving about during reading

WHAT ARE THE COMMONEST SERIOUS EYE PROBLEMS

Children's eyes can be affected by problems at birth such as damage to the retina in premature babies and infections from meningitis which can affect the blood vessels in the brain leading to damage to the optic nerve. Children can inherit conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa which predominantly affects the side vision, macular dystrophies which prevent central detailed vision and Leiber's optic atrophy which affects the whole of the visual area. Children can also suffer from glaucoma, retinal detachments, congenital cataracts and older children can lose vision from diabetes.

WHEN SHOULD CHILDREN'S EYES BE EXAMINED?

Children's eyes can be examined at any age. If an infant or toddler has an eye problem the sooner it is detected the better it will be in the long term. Important defects that need to be looked out for are cataract (cloudiness inside the eye), squint (an eye that turns in) or hypermetropia (severe long-sightedness).

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