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Children's Eye Health & Safety Awareness Month

Children's Eye Health & Safety Awareness Month

Healthy vision is crucial to a child's success and happiness. One of the best ways to help children achieve academically and athletically is by making sure they get regular, comprehensive eye exams. Celebrate Children's Eye Health and Safety Month in August by visiting your eye doctor before the school year begins!

Detecting Eye Problems

A good rule of thumb is to have your children's eyes examined beginning around three years of age. An optometrist or ophthalmologist can help detect any refractive errors within the eyes.

Many children, especially young ones, don't have the experience to recognize when they have a vision problem. You may have to look for unusual behaviors or subtle physical symptoms that could indicate they're having difficulty seeing. Some of these warning signs include:

  • Wandering or crossed eyes.
  • Squinting: especially evident when trying to focus on a screen or while reading.
  • Head turning or tilting: they may be relieving eye muscle strain due to strabismus.
  • Difficulty with close objects: particularly reading difficulties.
  • Closeness: holding screens or books close to the face, sitting close to the TV.
  • Disinterest: concentration difficulties or a short attention span.
  • Irritation: Frequently rubbing eyes.
  • Poor hand coordination or clumsiness.
  • A family history of vision problems.
  • Frequent headaches: can be accompanied by nausea.

Your child may recognize that something is wrong with their vision, so pay attention if they bring up any difficulties seeing! They mention that objects look blurry or out of focus, their eyes may feel irritated, or that they are experiencing double vision.

Common Eye Problems for Children

These conditions are some of the most common affecting children, but there are many others that can develop even during the early months of a child's life:

  • Astigmatism: a type of refractive error in which the eye's curvature is imperfect, causing light to focus unevenly on the retina. This leads to distorted or blurred vision.
  • Myopia: also known as nearsightedness, this refractive error leads to close-up objects appearing clear but distant objects appearing blurry. It's the most common cause of impaired vision in people under 40 years old.
  • Hyperopia: also known as farsightedness, this refractive error leads to distant objects appearing clear but close-up objects appearing blurry.
  • Amblyopia: also known as lazy eye, a disorder in which the brain favors inputs from one eye over the other.
  • Strabismus: also known as crossed eyes, a condition in which the eyes don't align properly.
  • Ptosis: drooping of the eyelid.
  • Color Deficiency: color blindness.

 

Eye Safety

Eye safety also plays a large role in your child's overall eye health. Eye injuries are the leading cause of vision loss in children, but 90% of these injuries can easily be prevented:

  • Approximately 20,000 sports-related eye injuries occur every year to children in America.
  • 12 million children suffer from vision impairment due to eye injuries.

You can safeguard your child's vision by purchasing age-appropriate toys, keeping your children away from sharp objects or ones with protruding parts, and by having them wear protective eyewear while participating in sports.

Childrens Eye Health from Mountainside Medical Equipment on Vimeo.

 
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