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Common Eye Conditions in School-Aged Children

by Caroline Cauchi, OD

Vision problems are commonplace in school, so much so that every 1 in 4 school-aged child will have some sort of vision problem according to a statistic from Prevent Blindness America.

If these conditions go untreated, it may make it more difficult for the child to learn, interact with his or her peers and participate in after-school activities. Because of the big role vision plays in your child’s ability to learn, regular exams with an optometrist in the La Mesa, CA area are a must. The following eye conditions are common in children who are between 5 to 17 years old:

Refractive Errors

Refractive errors, which may include nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, can affect anyone no matter their age. Often, these errors become more obvious around the time your child enters school. Most refractive errors can be combatted with a proper eyeglass prescription. You may notice a few symptoms:

  • Regular headaches
  • Tired eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Holding books close to face
  • Eye rubbing
  • Squinting
  • Closing one eye to see better
  • Avoiding activities, such as reading, watching TV or using the computer, which require near vision
  • Avoiding activities, such as playing sports, which require distance vision
  • Excessive tearing

These are just a few clues that your child may be suffering from some sort of refractive error. If you notice any of these symptoms, be sure to take your child to see a trusted eye care specialist.

Regular Eye Exams

Taking your child in for regular eye exams may help keep certain eye conditions under control. Your local eye doctor needs to have an understanding of what is normal in your child’s eyes. That is why you should take your school-aged child to the eye doctor every other year. Children who were born premature or are at risk for certain diseases may need to see the doctor even more frequently. It is important to remember that vision screenings at school should not replace a comprehensive eye exam. Talk with your local optometrist to find out more about what you can do to keep your child’s eyes healthy.

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