Saturday, May 07, 2011

Remedy vision impairment in children

Childhood can be an exciting time filled with growth and change. For youngsters experiencing vision trouble, childhood can also be a challenging time. While there are many eyesight problems that can occur during childhood, some are more common than others.

It can be difficult for parents and caregivers to diagnose a child's vision difficulties before the child is able to communicate successfully. That's why vision ailments in younger people may go undiscovered until a child has reached toddler age or enters preschool.

Eyesight conditions can hinder children in the classroom. Many common vision problems are easily remedied if caught early on.

* Strabismus: Strabismus is a condition where a person cannot align both eyes properly. This may cause the eyes to cross. According to, as many as 5 percent of all children have some type or degree of strabismus. Strabismus is not a condition that children will simply outgrow; it requires treatment that can help mitigate symptoms. With strabismus, the misalignment of the eyes causes two pictures to be sent to the brain. This can cause double vision. Eventually, a child will adapt when the brain ignores one image and suppresses it, using only vision out of one eye.

* Amblyopia: This is the medical term for "lazy eye." When children have amblyopia, the brain has a defect that prevents it from processing the images from both eyes, as is the norm. Instead, it prefers images from one eye and essentially "turns off" the other eye. The lazy eye will then fail to offer clear vision. Treatment for lazy eye generally involves putting a patch over the strong eye to force the lazy eye to work. An optometrist may also prescribe eyeglasses.

* Color blindness: Color blindness is more accurately called color vision deficiency. It is very rare for a person to be completely blind to any type of color and see only in black and white. Rather, color blindness is often a condition of having difficulty discerning between different shades of colors. There may be deficiencies in different hues, especially red and green. Scientific data indicates that males are more inclined toward color blindness.

* Conjunctivitis: Children are exposed to all different types of germs in a typical school setting. Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva or the clear mucous membrane that covers the eyeball. Conjunctivitis can be contagious and noncontagious depending on the cause. Pink eye caused by an allergic reaction or from irritation by a foreign object in the eye is not contagious, but when it is the result of a virus or bacteria, it can be quite contagious. Medicated drops and other remedies to lessen the irritation of the eye are often prescribed.

* Myopia and Hyperopia: Nearsightedness and farsightedness are conditions where the eyeball is too long or too short for the normal focusing power of the eye. Images in the distance or even those nearby can appear blurred. Corrective lenses can help with the problem and sometimes fix it.

* Astigmatism: This results from an irregular shape in the front surface of the cornea. This condition can make it difficult to see vertical or horizontal lines clearly or can produce blurred vision.

Children who are experiencing vision problems can have their symptoms alleviated quite easily with a trip to an optometrist. Prescription eyeglasses are often the first step in having vision trouble corrected.

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