Do you recognize the importance of your child’s eye care? Here’s a guide to the common problems and how to get ahead of them! Check it out!
Parenting, as every parent will wholeheartedly agree, brings with it not just joy but many anxieties too. As a parent it’s your job not just to treat coughs, colds, toothache and occasional bruises and scratches, but also to act in a preventative way at all times; that is, to take every precaution to keep your child physically and emotionally well.
Sadly, injury to eyes can be permanent, even resulting in the worst-case scenario; blindness. But it’s not just sport and activity related dangers to eyes we need to be mindful of. Read on to learn how to recognize some of the most common eye problems and what to do about them.
Your Child’s Eye Care: How to Catch Problems Early
As a baby it is common for eyes to appear crossed, simply because the baby is still learning to focus. Consult a pediatric eye specialist if this hasn’t corrected itself after three months.
Problems with eyesight commonly start between the ages of 6 and 12 years. Take notice if your child starts to behave differently. Have they changed their position in front of the TV? Are they having trouble catching a ball these days? At school, are there any problems with copying words from the school boards? Hopefully, if your child is having problems with their vision then they will be willing to tell you about it. But not always! A child may possibly be unwilling to discuss a problem because they simply do not want to wear glasses.
What to do if you suspect a problem
If an eye problem is suspected, your child’s eyes should be screened by your family doctor, a pediatrician, ophthalmologist or a professional with training in assessment of vision in school children. Recurring headaches are a sign that your child may need glasses. They may squint or rub their eyes. They may be short-sighted, resulting in distant objects appearing blurred. Long-sightedness results in difficulty seeing nearby objects and usually affects those over the age of 40 – but can affect all ages including babies and young children.
Some suggest that short and long-term good eye health begins with the food we eat. For general health and well-being of course a healthy diet is essential. During your child’s formative years regular eye checks will bring you peace of mind that their eye health is good. The checks will also present an opportunity for corrective treatment for any problems that arise.
What if it’s cancer?
Heaven forbid that you will ever have to confront the problem of retinoblastoma, but as it’s the commonest type of eye cancer in children, you may wish to make yourself aware of it. Successful treatment rates run at over 95%. It is most often seen in those under 5 years of age, and affects girls and boys equally. For information on the latest research and treatment for this and any cancer, head for a reputable oncology information website to arm yourself with relevant and up to date facts. Another useful source of information is Oncotarget, a bio-medical journal which covers research on every aspect of oncology. Being published twice-weekly means it is absolutely up to date with the latest research findings and trials. It is a well-established journal, having been published since 2010.
Will glasses protect your child’s eyes?
If your child does have to wear prescription glasses, that doesn’t mean that they won’t be able to wear sports goggles to protect their eyes. Both sports and swim goggles are available with prescription lenses. Your child may not be keen to wear protective eyewear in fear of how it looks; but goggles are increasingly becoming the norm; much as bike helmets are today. Goggles are designed to be comfortable and lightweight, so as not to interfere with the enjoyment of a game of baseball or soccer for example.
Common types of eye injuries sustained during these games include blunt trauma from sudden impact with elbows or boots. Ultra Violet radiation can cause long-term damage to the retina and cornea – children’s eyes are more sensitive to light than adult’s as their pupils are wider. Corneal abrasions or penetrating injuries can be caused by fingers poking into eyes, or other foreign objects forced into the eyes risking ruptures. Goggles will lay to rest any of these threats to your child’s eye health. Ordinary glasses should never be worn during sport. Some figures suggest that over 90% of all eye injuries could be prevented by the use of appropriate eyewear.
Addressing eye problems quickly may well also protect your child from failing confidence as they realize they can’t see as well as their classmates. They are at an age when feeling ‘different’ may cause them to become withdrawn. A regular and professional eye health check will protect eyes and see your children into a bright and healthy future.