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Common Eye Problems in Children

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A young girl wearing glasses and peeking over the edge of a table.

Since children’s vision isn’t fully developed, they might be vulnerable to different eye complications. Therefore, it is important for parents to make sure their kids have a healthy vision. After all, their vision can impact reading abilities, playing, and writing skills.

Vision Issues in Children

Vision problems are very common in kids and can impact learning and development if not caught early. According to the Canadian Association of Optometrists, 1 in 4 school-aged children have some form of vision impairment. Some of the most frequent pediatric eye disorders include amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (crossed eyes), and refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

Lazy Eye (Amblyopia) 

This is a common occurrence among children, which happens when the brain is unable to process input from one eye, and after a period of time, it starts ignoring the input altogether. This hinders their vision development and leads to different visual complications. Some of the symptoms include: 

  • Squinting 
  • Bad depth perception 
  • Eye wandering 
  • Head tilting 

This condition can be treated with the help of eye drops, eye patches, or glasses. However, in extreme cases, your pediatric eye doctor may recommend surgery. 

Refractive Errors

Refractive errors are one of the most common occurrences among children. These conditions prevent the light from focusing on the right part of the retina and ultimately cause blurred vision. Here are some of the most common signs that you need to look out for: 

  • Head tilting and squinting 
  • Eye strain and headaches
  • Viewing electronic appliances such as a TV too closely
  • Having trouble reading 

Parents who sense that their child may be suffering from this problem need to seek professional help immediately since the issue can exacerbate rapidly.

A young girl standing in front of a Snellen eye chart and squinting. Squinting may be a sign of refractive errors in your child's vision.

Binocular Vision Dysfunction (BVD) 

Binocular vision issues can occur when both the eyes work together to focus on an object. Usually, there is a misalignment that causes this problem. With this condition, a patient may feel symptoms like: 

  • Anxiety 
  • Dizziness 
  • Nausea 
  • Fatigue and headache 
  • Light sensitivity 
  • Stress

It is now becoming increasingly common for children to suffer from this problem. If you start noticing any BVD symptoms, you should immediately contact a pediatric eye doctor to make sure the disease is diagnosed and treated before it escalates. 


This is one of the complications that occur as a swelling on the upper or the lower eyelid. Although it is painless at first, it can prove to be dangerous if the area gets infected. It can spread throughout the eyelids and become painful. 

A chalazion can also get bigger and may restrict a child’s vision. On some occasions, the complication may go away without any medications, but sometimes, it may require medical attention. Some of the treatment methods include: 

  • Using eye drops
  • Warm compresses
  • Surgical removal 

Pediatric Cataracts 

This disease is also known as congenital cataracts. It is important to know that not only adults go through this problem but children as well. Over the world, 20,000-40,000 children contract paediatric cataracts each year. It occurs when the eye lens becomes clouded and hinders the vision. 

Here are a few signs to watch out for: 

  • Difficulty seeing objects 
  • Eyes point out in different directions
  • Gray pupils 

Schedule an Eye Exam for Your Child in Edmonton

It is becoming increasingly common for children to face eye-related complications. Therefore, it is important to diagnose the issue on time and seek medical care immediately. 

The best way to catch issues early in your child’s vision is by scheduling regular comprehensive eye exams. Contact the friendly team at Total Focus Optometry in Edmonton to schedule an eye exam for your child today.

Written by Total Focus

At Total Focus Optometry, we’ve spent the last 70 years building meaningful relationships with our patients and their families. From routine eye exams to contact lens fittings we offer our patients a variety of services to meet their eye care needs.

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