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Your Child’s Vision: Recognizing Problems (Guest Post)

Posted Nov 11 2011 12:00am

Vision-Children Your child’s vision is the most important of all his senses. Although there are programs designed specifically for the advancement of the blind, the truth is that if your child goes undiagnosed for vision problems, he is likely to miss out when he gets to school since the majority of materials are presented visually. This could limit his ability to read and write, which will put him behind in every subject. The point is, you need to be vigilant in looking for signs of vision problems because the earlier they are detected, the better chance your child has of correcting the issue so that vision can develop normally. So here are some things to consider.

There are often simple indicators that your child is suffering from vision problems and they can start in infancy. Some babies, for instance, are born with cataracts (or children may develop them within the first few years of life). If you have a family history of this condition it could be inherited, but there may also be other causes. Regardless, you need to get an immediate exam and analysis done if you notice the cloudy spots that indicate cataracts. If they are present, surgery will be needed in order to remove the cataracts so that your child’s vision develops normally.

You may also worry if your baby has trouble focusing or seems to have other vision problems early in life. In truth, an infant’s vision continues to develop after birth, up until the age of about 6-8 months, so it may be nothing more than the natural course of things. But if you are concerned, it never hurts to call your doctor and go in for a checkup. Better safe than sorry is a good motto to adopt when it comes to your child’s vision.

Also of concern is a condition called amblyopia, or lazy eye. This occurs when the pathway between the eye and the brain doesn’t develop properly and if it goes untreated it can impact your child’s vision. You can often recognize the symptoms of this disorder by the characteristic lazy eye, which occurs when the weaker eye drifts inward or outward, moves independently of the dominant eye, or even if your child’s vision simply seems weaker on one side. In any case, you should definitely take your child for an eye exam if you notice any such indicators since this is the most common form of vision problem in children.

Finally, you should watch for symptoms in older children, as well. A tendency towards clumsiness (frequently running into objects, for example) or even poor grades and disruptive behavior in school could indicate vision problems, so if you think there might be an issue with sight, don’t hesitate to take your child to an to visit an ophthalmologist. And keep in mind that both and vision correction surgery are an option for kids of all ages (from infancy on), so if your child simply refuses to wear glasses at school, there may be alternatives you can explore.

About the Author

Evan Fischer is a freelance writer and part-time student at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California.

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