Mar 1, 2024 | Children's Eye Care

Common Eye Problems in Children & How to Prevent Them

As parents, we always want our children to be healthy and safe. We take them to the doctor for regular checkups, make sure they eat healthy foods, and encourage them to play outside. But did you know that vision problems are one of the most common health issues among children? In fact, about one in four school-age kids has a vision problem. The good news is that most eye problems can be prevented or treated if caught early.  

In this blog post, we’ll discuss some common eye problems in children and how you can prevent them. 

1. Myopia 

Myopia (or nearsightedness) is when faraway objects look blurry but things up close are clear. Myopia usually develops during childhood and gets worse over time if not managed properly. To keep myopia from getting worse, make sure your child spends time outside and limit their screen time.  

At Prairie Vista Eye & Optical, we offer Wave NightLens® topography-based orthokeratology lenses in Liberal, Kansas to help slow down the progression of nearsightedness. Wave NightLens® orthokeratology (or ortho-k) lenses gently reshape your child’s cornea while they sleep, providing them with clear vision the following day without having to wear glasses or contacts. Studies have shown that using Wave NightLens® can significantly slow the progression of myopia in children and adolescents, reducing the risk of developing high levels of nearsightedness later in life. If your child has myopia, we’ll examine their eyes and develop a personalized myopia management plan for their specific needs.  

2. Hyperopia (farsightedness) 

Hyperopia, also known as farsightedness, is another vision problem where nearby objects appear blurry while distant objects are clear. Unlike myopia, it tends to get better with age. If it doesn’t, your child’s eye doctor can prescribe glasses or contact lenses to correct this issue. 

3. Ambylopia (lazy eye) 

Amblyopia is a common condition that affects 2-3% of children in the United States. It occurs when one eye has weaker vision than the other, causing the brain to favor the stronger eye and ignore the weaker one. If left untreated, amblyopia can lead to permanent vision loss in the weaker eye. Fortunately, it can be corrected if detected early through regular pediatric eye exams. 

4. Strabismus (crossed eyes) 

Strabismus happens when both eyes don’t line up properly, causing one or both eyes to turn inward or outward. It affects about 4% of children in the United States and can lead to amblyopia if left untreated. Treatment options include eyeglasses, patching therapy, or even surgery depending on the severity of the condition. 

5. Conjunctivitis (pink eye)  

Conjunctivitis causes inflammation and redness of the conjunctiva, the thin layer that covers the white part of your eye and the inside of your eyelid. It’s highly contagious and can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or allergies. Symptoms include redness, itching, discharge, and light sensitivity. To help prevent it, make sure your child washes their hands frequently and avoids touching their eyes. Also, keep them away from anyone with pink eye. If your child does get pink eye, get medical help right away. 

Regular pediatric eye exams are crucial for detecting and treating common eye problems in children early on. At Prairie Vista Eye & Optical, we provide pediatric eye exams in Liberal, Kansas for children of all ages. We also offer vision therapy to correct various eye problems that negatively impact learning, reading, sports, and even social interactions. If they need glasses, we have a range of styles and colors so they can find the best pair to fit their personality. Book your child’s next appointment with us today!