Children and their eyes are different from Adults. The child's eyes and the vision system is growing and developing especially during the first 8-10 years of life. Good quality clear vision is essential for normal vision development and proper alignment of eyes. Therefore it is very important to properly evaluate in details the vision of a child, and prescribe glasses or other relevant treatment if required at the earliest. However, the children often do not report poor vision or eye problem to their parents, and it is also more challenging to assess their vision accurately.Click here for Download PDF
What are the common vision disorders affecting children?
What are the warning signs of vision problems in children?
Why does a child need glasses?
The child may need glasses, if he/she is unable to see clearly for distance, or if he/she has an eyestrain, or in case of deviation of eyes. It is very important that the child uses the prescribed glasses regularly for proper development of the vision system.
How is the child tested for glasses?
For a thorough eye checkup, the pupils may need to be dilated for determining the right glasses power. The child may need to come for more than one visit to confirm the glasses power. For very young children, some special charts or instruments may be needed for accurate assessment.
What is Squint (Strabismus) or Cross Eye, and how is it treated?
Squint is the misalignment of the eyes. The causes may be refractive error (need for glasses), muscle weakness or congenital misalignment of muscles. It is very important to treat this condition at the earliest with help of a combination of glasses, exercises and/or surgery. It is important to treat squint at the earliest to maintain and regain good alignment and binocular vision and depth perception. Any other associated problem like Amblyopia (Lazy Eye), Cataract, Ptosis etc. is treated before the squint is operated upon.
What is Amblyopia or Lazy Eye?
Amblyopia or Lazy Eye is a condition where one or both eye does not develop good vision due to need of glasses, squint or other causes. The child may need occlusion therapy or some special exercises to treat this condition. The earlier the treatment is started, the better are the results.
What other diseases can affect a child?
Child can have Congenital Cataract or Glaucoma, which needs to be treated as soon as possible to ensure proper development of his/her vision system. Some children may have drooping of eyelids (Ptosis), which requires an evaluation and a surgery, if required.
When should the children get eye examination routinely?
An infant should get a comprehensive eye examination at the age of 6 months. Children should then get an eye checkup at around 3 years of age when they start their Kindergarten school and then at 5-6 years of age.
What are the special requirements for examination of children?
Examination of children requires a child friendly dedicated area where the child gets comfortable. A thorough evaluation requires an experienced examiner with lots of patience and some special charts and equipment. Special vision charts with photos or symbols, devices to test depth perception, eye alignment etc. are needed. Parent education and dietary advice is also necessary for good eye health.
What happens during an eye examination?