5 Common Vision Problems in Children
Our eyes play a critical role in children's proper physical development and educational progress. When it comes to children's eye health, it is hugely important to understand common eye and vision problems. Oftentimes it is difficult to know if a child is having vision problems because the child may not know what they're experiencing isn't normal. Vision testing children is imperative to help identify risk factors. Many conditions are only curable when detected and treated appropriately by a pediatric eye doctor or pediatric ophthalmologist. To help you better understand common eye and vision problems in children, we've compiled a list of 5 commonly experienced problems.
Nearsightedness (myopia) is when close-up objects look clear but distant objects are blurry. For instance, you can read a map clearly but have trouble seeing well enough to drive a car. Nearsightedness is a common eye focusing disorder. It has been on the rise for several decades. It is estimated that by 2050, nearly half the people in the world will have nearsightedness.
Farsightedness (also called hyperopia) is a refractive error. This is when the eye does not refract—or bend—light properly. Generally, a farsighted person sees distant objects clearly, but near vision is blurry. Others experience farsightedness differently. Some people may not notice any problems with their vision, especially when they are young. And for others with severe farsightedness, vision can be blurry at any distance, near or far. Farsightedness is an eye focusing disorder, not an eye disease.
Astigmatism is an irregularly shaped cornea or lens that prevents light from focusing properly on the retina, the light-sensitive surface at the back of the eye. The surface of the cornea is shaped more like a football instead of round like a basketball and the eye is unable to focus light rays to a single point. In this case, vision becomes out of focus at any distance. In addition, the curvature of the lens inside the eye can change, resulting in an increase or decrease in astigmatism. This change frequently occurs in adulthood and can precede the development of naturally occurring cataracts.
Anisometropia is when the two eyes have a different refractive power (glasses prescription), so there is unequal focus between the two eyes without glasses. This is often due to one eye having a slightly different shape or size from the other causing unequal curving (astigmatism), unequal far-sightedness (hyperopia), or unequal near-sightedness (myopia).
Strabismus (crossed eyes) is when your eyes are not lined up properly and they point in different directions. One eye may look straight ahead while the other eye turns in, out, up, or down. The misalignment can shift from one eye to the other. Strabismus affects vision, since both eyes must aim at the same spot together to see properly.
GoCheck Kids vision screening solutions include photoscreening for children ages 1-6 years old and visual acuity for ages 4-21 years old. The American Academy of Pediatrics vision screening policies recommend instrument-based screening as early as 12 months with photoscreening being the most common type, and visual acuity attempted at age 4.
Earlier treatment means better outcomes. If you're interested in learning more about how our photoscreening and visual acuity platform enables pediatricians, health systems, schools, Head Starts, and non-profits to easily detect vision impairment, contact us to schedule a demo.