An early diagnosis in children will be decisive so that, in case there is an ocular defect, it can be corrected in time and avoid leaving sequelae in adulthood. There are some problems that can only be treated during childhood or at the most during adolescence, and if not treated, they can lead to other major problems.
We will always emphasize, when we talk about health issues, the enormous importance of prevention. We, as adults, will be responsible for carrying out the work of prevention in our children, until they can take care of their own health. Educating them to take care of their health, both ocular and visual, is an important task in which it is worth investing our time and energy.
It is in the first years of our life that we develop our vision, which is why it is vital to take care of it and have it checked frequently by professionals. About 20% of children have some vision problem. These check-ups should be carried out periodically without waiting for alarm signals from the child, since in many cases they are not aware that they are suffering from a vision problem. A normal child should reach 100% of his vision capacity when he is between 5 and 6 years old.
Frequent problems in children and how to know that they do not see well
The most frequent pathologies in children’s vision are: myopia, hyperopia, strabismus and amblyopia.
Strabismus means that the alignment of one eye is not correct with respect to the other, which prevents the gaze from being fixed with both eyes, reducing the ability to perceive depth or stereopsis. It is reversible in childhood or even in adolescence with appropriate therapeutic measures. If left untreated, it may progress to amblyopia, also known as “lazy eye”, which will cause a decrease in visual acuity.
We can detect that a child does not see well by the following signs:
- When trying to read, he/she moves too close or too far away from the paper.
- Ocular reddening.
- Frequent rubbing of the eyes.
- He suffers from headaches.
- Squinting to fix the eyes.
- Sunlight bothers him/her and/or he/she finds it difficult to adapt when there is less light.
Children’s visual health: what we can do
It is true that some visual problems are inherited. If the father suffers from myopia and the mother does too, it is very likely that the child will inherit this pathology. But there are some things we can do so that these pathologies do not appear or do not go further in case our child suffers from any ailment.
- Be careful with the sun. It is important to use sunglasses at all ages, being the glass of good quality and EU certified. Of course, it is not advisable to look at the sun directly and for a prolonged period of time.
- When watching television and using other types of screens such as computers, it is important to keep your eyes at a safe distance and to have some other source of light, not only that produced by the screen itself. It is also important, especially with computer-type screens, to take frequent breaks.
- Chlorine from swimming pools is an irritant for the eyes, so it is advisable to rinse your face well after swimming, not to open your eyes under water and to use approved swimming goggles.
- To study or read, you should have a good light and try never to strain your eyes, as well as avoid shadows and a good study posture.
For more information on children’s eye health, contact a specialist.