Eyes determine the quality of life an individual leads. Therefore, regular eyesight checkups are important, especially for young children. As per the reports from the American Optometric Association, one in four children may be suffering from vision related problems. If the vision related problems go untreated for long, they may even result in permanent loss of eyesight in children.
Problems Start Young
In numerous cases, parents mistake vision problems in their young kids for other medical conditions. For instance, young kids had no interested in toys or had difficulty in grabbing certain items properly. Parents even got their children tested for all the other possible disorders but vision. And, by the time they realize the problem to be associated with vision, the damage done to the eyes becomes irreversible.
Children having vision problems are likely to do poorly in their studies. There are many instances where a child wasn't able to differentiate a leaf from feather. Parents and teachers become furious as a result and this further dents the self-esteem of these already troubled children.
Regular Scheduling of Eyesight Tests
As per ophthalmologists, children should undergo vision related tests right from the age 3. The situation is all the more alarming in developing and under-developed countries where more than 60% children under the age 6 have never undergone any kind of eye checkups.
The state of affairs is not so bright even in the developed world. According to CDC, only 20% of the school-going kids in America have their eyes tested every year. The number is too small for a country where the level of health awareness is relatively high.
Poor Vision Hampers Learning Ability to Grow
Vision plays a huge role in intellectual and behavioral development. A child with poor vision may also develop emotional stress, thus experiencing hampered emotional growth. It further takes a toll on a child's learning potential and ability to perform.
Generally, vision related disorders are not accompanied with any kind of visible symptoms. This is what puts parents in an odd situation as they fail to identify the condition while it's still young.
The most common signs are:
- Children holding a book too close to their eyes to read its contents.
- Requesting teachers to make them sit too close to black board.
- Squeezing eyes at regular intervals.
- Showing disinterest in work that demands of visual concentration.
- Frequent headaches.
Keep a Check
You should play a more active role in detecting vision related problems in your children. Listed below are a few guidelines for the same:
- You should look out for certain signs if you feel your kids are suffering from vision related problems. For instance, if kids develop red or swollen eyes after they are back from school, it's likely to be an indication for some eye sight related problem.
- There are times when children complain about pain in eyes and regular headaches. You shouldn't ignore their complaints for something trivial and arrange for a doctor's visit at the earliest.
- Communicate with your children regularly to know about their problems. Interaction is the key to learn what a child is going through. He may complain about double vision or blurred vision. These symptoms are indicative of eyesight anomalies.
- You should observe your children carefully. You may notice your child rubbing his eyes from time to time or covering one of his eyes while reading text in his book.
Also, your child may squint while watching the TV or focusing on an object. You can discover such issues only if you are watching him closely.
Once you are sure that your child is suffering from some kind of vision related disease, it is advisable to consult an ophthalmologist at the earliest.
You should know well that timely detection of vision related disorders can help your child significantly. It's important that your child doesn't develop any kind of vision related problems during his formative years for his inclusive growth.
It's always recommended by ophthalmologists that children are taken for periodic vision checkups by their parents.
Workout for Eyes
Here are some important points that may help:
- You should advice/remind your child to blink his eyes often.
- This helps in reducing strain on the eyes.
- Ask him to shield his eyes when facing intense light or under sun.
- You should see that your child is not putting dirty hands or unclean objects close to his eyes.
- You should discourage him from reading his books while lying down on the bed.
- Ask him to maintain proper distance while watching the TV.
- You should ensure he only uses clean handkerchiefs.
Most of the vision related problems can be easily dealt with provided you visit a doctor on time. Timely discovery of problem and its correction through spectacles or surgery can go a long way in improvement of your child's performance during his formative years