As a parent, you’re all too familiar with some of the most common childhood illnesses, such as strep throat and stomach bugs, but when it comes to eye health, it’s not always easy to determine what could be wrong. For this reason, we’ve put together a list of some of the most common conditions and how to detect them.
Also known as lazy eye, amblyopia is the leading cause of vision loss in children. The condition usually develops around the age of six as a result of the body’s failure to properly use the eyes together. Left untreated, amblyopia can develop into severe visual impairment or even blindness. Symptoms of amblyopia include:
- A crossed eye or obvious eye misalignment
- Favoring one eye
- Bumping into objects with one side of the body
Also known as conjunctivitis, pink eye is the inflammation of the covering of the eyeball and the lining of the eyelid, called the conjunctiva. Look out for the following signs:
- Eyelids stuck together upon waking up
- Green or yellow discharge
- Pain under bright light
Sometimes, you can treat the condition at home by applying a compress over closed eyes. However, in the case of moderate to severe pain, blurred vision, extreme redness of the eye, or worsening symptoms, schedule an appointment with your child’s doctor.
An infection in the eyelid or upper respiratory tract or an infection related to trauma can cause cellulitis, a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. Look out for red, inflamed tissues around one eye, which may also be swollen shut. Your child may also have a fever and, in serious cases, decreased vision or the inability to move the eye, which may appear pushed forward.
If the surface of the eye that’s normally clear becomes cloudy, your child may have a cataract or another eye disorder.
If you suspect your child is suffering from any of the above conditions, schedule an appointment with a pediatrician or eye care practitioner to receive proper diagnosis and treatment.