Eye diseases are many times associated with aging and the elderly, but the truth is that there are a number of eye diseases that affect youth. These childhood eye diseases can be very aggressive, leading to partial vision loss or even blindness in some cases. The potential dangers associated with childhood eye diseases serve as a warning of the immense importance of regular vision screening for your children.
Becoming Aware of Potential Problems
There is no shortage of eye diseases and conditions that have the potential to negatively impact your child's vision. The more common issues are related to focus and alignment, but there also some degenerative conditions that can cause long term issues. The key to successfully treating these diseases is early diagnosis. The longer a situation goes untreated the more potential there is for damage. By having regular vision screenings your child's doctor will be able to notice any abnormalities and develop an immediate course of action to correct the issue.
Recognizing and Dealing With Amblyobia
Amblyopia is a condition that negatively impacts a child's ability to properly align their field of sight as well as their ability to properly focus. This is the result of one or both eyes failing to adequately develop. This condition normally manifests during early childhood. A common name for Amblyopia is lazy eye, which is the result of one eye having better visual acuity than the other. This condition impacts two to three percent of all children.
A common symptom with amblyopia is the misalignment of one eye, meaning one eye may be looking straight while the other ventures up, down or to either side. Depending of the severity of the condition, this misalignment may be constant or intermittent. When this happens the eye that is offline is turned off by the brain in order to resist an episode of double vision. If this goes untreated, the stronger eye will continue to get stronger while the weaker eye grows considerably weaker. In some cases, this can be corrected by placing a patch over the stronger eye, forcing the weaker eye to perform. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary.
Ptosis is another eye condition that affects focus. This condition involves the drooping of the upper eyelid to a point in which the eye is covered - either partially or completely - blocking vision. Your child's physician will be able to determine the best course of action in treating ptosis.
Childhood cataracts could be another issue that may affect your child's vision. If your child's eyes seem cloudy, there is a chance that your child has developed a cataract. This condition is treatable.
If you notice these symptoms, scheduled a screening with an ophthalmologist. The longer a condition goes untreated, the more potential there is of damage being done. The key with each of these conditions is detecting them as early as possible to reduce the amount of damage and give your child a chance for a full and complete recovery.
Simon Walters loves optical research. He especially enjoys helping families understand eye and vision care in children and teenagers. For more information, visit the NextdayLenses website.