Even if a child shows no signs of trouble, they should still have their eyes checked at consistent intervals. This includes both vision screenings and comprehensive eye exams.
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If your child shows one or more of these signs, take to an eye doctor promptly:
- Eyelids are crusty, swollen, or red-rimmed
- Eyes will not line up, one eye seems crossed or looks out
- Eyes are inflamed (red) or watery
- Constantly is rubbing his/her eyes
- Often tilts head or thrusts head forward
- Comments that things seem hard to see or blurry
- Has trouble reading, has to hold thing close up to see
- Squints eyes or frowns
- Covers of closes one eye
- Blinks more often than normal or appears grumpy when doing close-up tasks
You child may have a vision screening at his or her school, or during a visit to your pediatrician receive a vision screening and as a result be referred to an eye doctor if signs of a vision problem were noticed. Only an optometrist, ophthalmologist or eye doctor can give your child an eye exam.
Because of certain situations, some children may be more prone to have problems with their eyes. Your pediatrician should be made aware of any of these following factors that might contribute to a vision problem in your child:
- Family history of eye problems, eye tumor, misaligned eyes, lazy eye, etc.
- Childhood diabetes
- Premature birth
- Eye injury (Ensuing problems from an eye injury can develop later in life)
If your child has an eye problem, there are several different treatments to correct them such as:
- Prescription glasses
- Patching one eye
- Eye exercises
Early detection can help reduce the severity of an eye problem and even save your child’s vision. Talk with your family and friends or your trusted physician to help find an eye doctor that would be best for you child. The American Academy of Ophthalmology has an online member list of practicing ophthalmologist in the United States that you can also use.