Eye Diseases & Conditions in Children
In this article, we will discuss common eye diseases and their causes. We will also discuss statistics of children suffering from eye diseases in the US and ways to prevent them. The main goal of this article is to provide you with information about common childhood eye diseases and their causes. After reading this article, you should feel more confident in recommending eye exams for your children. After all, your children’s health is the most important thing you can do for them.
Common Eye Diseases & Conditions in Children
Many children squint when looking at distant objects. They may have vision problems or an eye disorder. Strong eyesight is essential for kids to learn, play, and read properly. Unfortunately, nearly 1 in 4 kids has an undiagnosed eye disease or condition. Here are 3 common vision problems that your child may have. Your child should have regular exams to rule out any of these conditions. Symptoms may include blurred vision, excessive tearing, or double vision.
Retinal dysplasia of prematurity (ROP) affects babies before 32 weeks of gestation. It is also a common problem for premature babies and those given oxygen therapy during early lung development. It causes scarring in the retina and blindness in both eyes. Another condition caused by a lack of Vitamin A, night blindness affects children at night. People with night blindness have impaired vision when there is very little light, but see normally when there is sufficient light.
Causes of Eye Diseases in Children
Your child may have several eye diseases or conditions, but early diagnosis is critical to maintaining your child’s vision. Learn more about the causes of common childhood eye conditions from Dr. Ann Ranelle, a pediatric ophthalmologist. Symptoms of various diseases can include watery or crusty eyelids or a red eye, which may worsen over time. In some cases, bacterial or viral infection of the eyelids can be the cause. In some cases, an allergy can also lead to an allergic reaction.
Some of the most common eye diseases in children can be genetic. One of these conditions is coloboma, which develops during fetal development and results in a gap in various eye structures. While it occurs in one in every ten thousand births, the condition may lead to other serious eye problems, including glaucoma, poor vision, and a weak retina. Some people with coloboma have a squinting tendency.
Statistics of Children with Eye Diseases in US
According to the National Parent Teacher Association, approximately ten million children under the age of 18 have some type of eye disease or condition. Nearly three percent of these children are blind or visually impaired, meaning that they can’t see even with the aid of a pair of glasses or contact lenses. It’s estimated that more than 2,000 workers in the U.S. sustain an eye injury on the job each day, but most of these accidents can be prevented or treated if proper precautions are taken.
In this study, parents of children with eye diseases and conditions were surveyed about their knowledge of the condition. They were more likely to have good knowledge about certain conditions than less informed individuals. Those who were 51 years or older had better knowledge of pediatric eye diseases than participants younger than 20. Also, parents who had a child with a vision condition were more likely to be aware of childhood eye disease than those without. Regardless of age, income, education, and occupation, parents who are educated about eye disease and vision problems had higher knowledge scores.
Ways to Prevent Eye Diseases in Children
If your child is constantly tearing their eyes, you may be worrying about the potential for glaucoma. This disease is caused by elevated pressure in the eye and can lead to permanent damage of the optic nerve. Signs of glaucoma in children include drooping eyelids, cloudy or white cornea, sensitivity to light, red eyes, and frequent blinking. Other symptoms include eyelid inflammation (ptosis) and conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye. This eye condition can lead to poor vision, lazy eye, and even blindness if left untreated.
The best way to prevent vision problems in children is to identify them early. Often children cannot recognize early signs of vision problems, but you can spot them quickly. Early recognition and treatment are crucial. Look for signs of eye problems in children such as excessive rubbing or squinting, tilting the head to read, holding books closer than normal, and rubbing the eyes. These are all signs of vision problems, so make sure you take your child to the doctor as soon as you notice them.