Clear eyesight is essential for children in primary and secondary school environments. Vision problems can prevent students from reading items written on chalkboards or in textbooks and may seriously affect their performance in physical activities as well. Watching out for developing vision problems can allow parents to take proactive steps to ensure the best performance for their children in the school environment. Eyeglasses and contact lenses can remedy some of these issues for younger children. If more serious issues are affecting your child’s eyesight, however, consulting with a qualified Houston eye surgeon can provide added support for your child’s academic and athletic endeavors. Here are some facts every Houston parent should know about common vision problems in children.
Negative Effects of Poor Vision
Students who suffer from vision problems can have trouble in the school environment:
- Inability to read words at a distance or close up
- Lack of eye-hand coordination in physical education activities
- The ability to read and comprehend printed words
- The development of binocular vision for sports and distance perception
- Loss of interest in activities that require intensive visual work
Most experts recommend regular vision checks starting when children are three years old and continuing throughout childhood and adolescence. These examinations can prevent eyesight problems from impacting your child’s academic experience.
Spotting the Signs
Children may not recognize vision problems on their own. By watching for these early warning signs, parents can make a more informed decision regarding the need for a professional eye examination:
- Eye rubbing or complaints of dry or uncomfortable eyes
- Lack of interest in reading and frequent pauses when reading aloud
- Sitting too close to computer screens and television
- Holding books too close or two far away
- Complaints of headaches
Teachers may also send home notes regarding the child’s failure to participate in class or to read aloud when requested. If these symptoms persist or worsen, scheduling a visit with a trusted Houston eye surgery specialist or ophthalmologist can provide added peace of mind and practical solutions for a wide array of vision problems.
Also known as lazy eye, amblyopia affects as many as 3 percent of all children in the U.S. This condition is caused by disparity between the two eyes in the ability to focus clearly. Over time, the connection between the weaker eye and the brain becomes atrophied, potentially causing permanent vision loss in the affected eye by the age of 10. If properly treated, however, this condition can often be corrected through the use of eyeglasses, eye drops and special therapies that are designed to promote greater focus and improved nerve communications between the less dominant eye and the vision centers located inside the brain.
Myopia, Hyperopia and Astigmatism
Certain refractive issues of the eye are relatively common among children:
- Myopia is more commonly referred to as nearsightedness and prevents clear vision of things at a distance.
- Children with hyperopia can see objects far away more clearly than those at closer range. This condition is known as farsightedness.
- Astigmatism causes distortions in the way objects are perceived. This refraction error is usually caused by deformities or irregularities in the cornea.
In most cases, these conditions can be treated with contact lenses or eyeglasses. If the severity of the refractive error is extreme, however, it may be worthwhile to consult with a Houston LASIK eye surgery expert to determine if these advanced procedures are right for your child.
The eye care experts at Mattioli Vision Professionals can provide expert assessment and treatment of a wide range of eye problems common during childhood and adolescence. Call us today at 713-776-3937 to schedule an appointment or to discuss your child’s needs with one of our vision care professionals. We look forward to the chance to serve all your eye care needs.