As much as children need to learn to walk and talk, they also need to develop their visual acuity before they can make sense of their surroundings.

The following conditions are only a few of the eye problems in children that may require treatment. It is therefore always a good idea to consult your optometrist if you notice any eye problems in your child.

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Strabismus

When your child’s eyes are crossed, it is important that the optometrist examines the problem and the eyes’ ability to function together.

Amblyopia

Usually a result of strabismus, amblyopia occurs when the eyes are turned or when the eyes have different prescriptions. The brain “shuts off” the image from the turned or blurry eye. Take your child to an optometrist who will prescribe the correct treatment.

Far-sightedness (hyperopia)

Your child easily recognises far-away objects, but finds it challenging to focus on things up close, and therefore may experience headaches, red eyes, inability to concentrate and restlessness. He may tire easily when reading or writing. The condition can, however, improve as he gets older.

Near-sightedness (myopia)

Due to the changed shape of the eye, your child is unable to focus on distant objects. Near-sighted children are more engaged with things up close and often squint or blink as they try to focus on objects in the distance.

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Astigmatism

This is the irregular curvature of the cornea (the outside, dome-shaped surface of the eye). Depending on the severity of the irregularity, objects may appear blurred, distorted and slanted.

Conjunctivitis (pink eye)

Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the white outer surface of the eye and inner lining of the eyelids. Usually caused by a bacterial and contagious infection or an allergic reaction, the eye appears red or pink. Eyes are itchy and irritated and discharge appears in both eyes.

 

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