Vision defects in children are quite common. Eyesight is checked at regular checkups, but if we are worried about something, we shouldn’t wait to see an eye doctor. What are the most common problems with a child’s sight?
Vision defects in children and the development of the eye organ
In the fourth week of pregnancy, the baby’s eyes start to form. At birth, the eyeball is about 80% the size it will be as an adult. Up until age 2, the eyes grow very quickly. The second stage of development, which lasts from birth until puberty, is characterized by very slow growth.
A baby can’t see very well right after being born. He can’t do things like keep his eyes on one thing. At the end of the baby’s first month, you can already check to see if his eyes follow the light. By the baby’s third month, he or she should already be able to choose what to look at. It should also help you keep your eyes on one thing and move them along with it. If the mother doesn’t make eye contact with the baby during this time, it could be a sign that her eyesight is bad. The child should be able to move around the house freely until he or she is 12 months old, pay attention to what is going on outside the window, and be able to recognize people and pictures. At this age, 80 percent of children can already see with both eyes.
Visual impairment in children: symptoms
There are whole sets of symptoms of poor eyesight in children that parents should pay attention to. In infancy, indications for contact with an ophthalmologist include:
- squint (physiological strabismus occurring up to six months of age)
- not making eye contact
- presence of genetically determined eye diseases in the family (congenital cataract, congenital glaucoma, retinoblastoma)
- a family history of hyperopia or strabismus (the first eye examination is recommended after the age of one)
In the preschool and school period, the symptoms of visual impairment in children are:
- closing or covering one eye
- burning, watery eyes
- rubbing the eyes
- quick fatigue and headache when reading
- poor reading ability
- low hand eye coordination
- Difficulty judging distances correctly
- problems with concentration
- confusing letters
- problems with writing between lines
When everything is normal, the eye’s optical system, which is mostly made up of the cornea and the retina, focuses light rays right on the retina. A normal eye looks like this. Because the lens can change shape, it is possible to see well both close up and far away. An irregular eye, also called an eye with a refractive error, is one that can’t focus light on the retina by itself. Most of the time, these kinds of problems show up in children. The word “refraction” means how light bends as it passes through the eye’s optical system.
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