Children's eye health

Common visual problems in children

We noticed that many young students today need to wear glasses to correct their eyesight, and the rate of myopia is continuously rising. Parents are very concerned about their children’s vision problems. In fact, most eye problems can be cured if they can be detected early. Therefore, parents should bring their children to have eye check regularly and teach them how to protect their eyes.
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How does the

child's visual system develop?

Newborn babies generally have about three diopters hyperopia and their vision are blurry. As the eyeball develops, the degree of hyperopia will gradually decrease. When a child is about three years old, the vision has grown to the level of an adult. 3 years old children have about one diopter hyperopia, and because their focusing function has been fully developed, they can focus with their eyes to make the image clear. Therefore, if a child has hyperopia around one diopter or less, he is generally not necessary wearing glasses.

When to have

first eye examination?

Before the children enter school at the age of 3, they should have the first comprehensive eye examination. At this time, the parents can know whether the child’s vision is up to standard, and whether there are problems such as myopia, astigmatism, strabismus, and amblyopia. When children are 6 years old, they can have a thorough eye examination because their visual system has reached maturity at this stage.
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Does my child have

myopia and astigmatism?

Myopia Mainly because the eyeball is too long, the image cannot be focused on the retina. When children look at distant objects, the image is blurred. The most common correction is to wear glasses or contact lens. We can also use myopic control lens or orthokeratology to control the speed of myopia progression. However, it must be examined by an optometrist in order to decide whether it is suitable for the child. Astigmatism Children with astigmatism often have signs of sideways or squinting. Vision is blurred at both distance and near objects. The main cause of astigmatism is that the cornea has different curvatures, or the refractive surface is uneven, so that the image cannot be focused into a point. It is generally caused by congenital factors, occasionally caused by corneal or lens disease. It can be corrected by wearing appropriate glasses.

What are

strabismus and amblyopia?

Strabismus is an eyes coordination problem, which prevents both eyes from focusing on the same object at the same time. If children have strabismus, they may have symptoms of side heads, seeing double images, squinting eyes, or skipping lines when reading. The treatment is to wear appropriate glasses, visual training or surgical treatment. If strabismus is not corrected, it will develop into amblyopia. Amblyopia Under normal circumstances, if a child wears a fully corrected prescription glasses but still cannot achieves the normal vision, this is called “amblyopia”. The main cause can be a large difference in prescription between eyes or strabismus. Common symptoms are rubbing eyes, closing one eye to focus on an object, looking objects at very close distance, etc. The treatment is to wear appropriate glasses, perform eye occlusion therapy and visual training. However, if amblyopia is found after the visual development is completed (approximately eight years old), the chance of vision recovery is very small.
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Why does my child have

watery eyes, red eyes, and itching eyes?

If children have the above symptoms, they may have trichiasis or allergic conjunctivitis. Trichiasis are mostly due to inversion of the eyelids. It causes the eyelashes to grow inward, and the eyelashes may touch the cornea, irritating the eyes. Children will experience eyes itching, eyes pain, tearing, and redness. When children grow up, the inversion of the eyelids may improve. If the symptoms persist, surgery may be required. Allergic conjunctivitis is mainly caused by pollen, wool, hair, feathers and others allergen. Children with nose allergy and trachea allergy are more likely to have this problem. They will feel itching eyes, runny eyes, redness, and discharge. Parents must remove the allergen that make children sensitive (e.g. carpets, dolls). Eye drops can be used if necessary.

How to protect

children's eyesight?

Parents should teach children to protect their eyes from an early age. There should be sufficient illumination when reading, with an appropriate posture. The normal reading distance should be about 35-40 cm, and the paper of the book should not be reflective. When reading or doing computer work, take a short break every 30 minutes to relax the eyes and muscles. A balanced diet, adequate sleep, and outdoor exercise are also important for eye health. Children should go to an optometrist for a regular comprehensive eye exam every six months to one year.
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