When your child is of a very young age, it can be difficult to tell if they are having difficulty with their vision or are simply developing strange habits. It can be especially difficult to tell if your child is having vision difficulty if they have yet to learn how to speak. Because of this, we have gathered some common vision impairment signs.
- Getting too close to objects. This is usually a more common concern for parents. If your child is sitting too close to the T.V. or holding objects close up to their face in order to see, they could be near sighted.
- Are constantly squinting or closing an eye. These are other common signs of vision impairment. If your child is doing this, it can be because they are trying to reduce blurred vision or they are trying to cover the poorer vision. These are signs of amblyopia, strabismus or cataract.
- Tilt their head to see. When children constantly tilt their heads when looking at object, it could be to help reduce double vision. If this is the case, they could have an eye muscle imbalance, also known as strabismus.
- Are constantly rubbing eyes. This can be a sign of tiredness or eye fatigue. If this is constantly occurring, it could be a sign of allergic conjunctivitis.
- Teary eyes. This is common for children whose eyelids don’t completely close when they’re asleep. This can cause dry eyes and vision impairment.
If any of these signs are common or visible in your child, schedule an eye exam to help correct their vision and help them see more clearly!
When should you go to the eye doctor? Once a year, twice a year, every other year? Well, the answer is different for each individual. Typically evaluations every two years should allow for proper vision assessment. However, there are some medical conditions, like diabetes, eye traumas, certain prescriptions or a family history of eye disorders that require more frequent visits. What are some common signs that you should make an eye appointment soon? If you experience any of these signs, don’t chalk it up to age or exhaustion, call your doctor and arrange for an eye exam as soon as possible.
- Sudden Change of Vision – Sudden blurry vision or focus problems can be a sign of a larger health issue and should always be taken seriously. If the blurry vision comes and goes, or is limited to one eye, you should schedule an exam as soon as possible.
- Eye Pain – Eye pain can be caused by seasonal allergies, a cold, or lack of sleep. If the pain is ongoing or increases in strength, call your eye doctor immediately.
- Light Sensitivity – Light sensitivity can be a symptom of a number of disorders or eye diseases (as well as an eye infection.) If you find yourself shying away from fluorescent light or sunlight consider making an appointment to get it looked at.
- Headaches – While headaches could mean any number of medical conditions, frequent headaches could indicate a vision problem. It is a good idea to rule out eye issues as a cause of the headaches. An eye exam can rule out any serious eye conditions.
- Floaters or Flashes – Seeing dots floating may be fairly common, but if they increase in frequency or are accompanied by flashes or obstruction of vision call your doctor or head to the emergency room immediately. This is a sign of a retinal problem that may be serious.
- Last Eye Exam – if you can not remember the last time you had an eye exam then maybe it is time to set up an appointment.
Our eyes are an amazingly vital component of our everyday life. They help us navigate our surroundings, “read” the emotions of the people around us and tackle everyday common tasks. Even dry, itchy eyes during allergy season can seem unbearable to some and interfere in going about our daily activities. But what if you are facing something more serious than allergies, and you think you may have en eye emergency. What should you do? What constitutes an eye emergency and what steps should you take to remedy the situation?
What is an eye emergency?
Eye emergencies could include cuts, scratches, objects in the eye, burns, chemical exposure, and blunt injuries to the eye or eyelid. Certain eye infections and other medical conditions, such as blood clots or glaucoma, may also need prompt medical care. If you notice any of the following symptoms then you may be having an eye emergency:
- Sudden vision loss
- Pain in or around the eye
- Redness accompanied by pain in the eye
- Halos (colored circles around lights)
- New floaters (spots, strings, cobwebs, or shadows before the eyes)
- Bulging of the eye or swelling of eye tissues
- Flashes or streaks of light
- Double vision
- Sudden crossed, turned or “wandering” eye
- Discharge, crusting or excessive tearing
- Eyelids stuck together, especially upon awakening
- Sudden blurring of vision that persists
What should I do?
Since the eye is easily damaged, any of these conditions can lead to vision loss if untreated. It is important to get medical attention for eye or eyelid injuries and problems. In most cases, if you have continuing symptoms of pain, visual disturbance, or bleeding, you should go to an ophthalmologist or optometrist. In general, if you are not sure if you have a serious eye injury, call your ophthalmologist for advice.
- If you believe your eye has been exposed to chemicals, your doctor may want you to use an eye wash before heading to the hospital or eye doctor’s office.
- Foreign bodies that are not removed with gentle washing should be evaluated by an ophthalmologist.
- If an object has impaled your eye or the area around the eye, do not remove it. Doing so may cause more damage. Call 911 immediately.
While seeking medical help head these warnings:
- Do not press or rub an injured eye.
- Do not remove contact lenses unless rapid swelling is occurring, there is a chemical injury and the contacts did not come out with the water flush, or you cannot get prompt medical help.
- Do not attempt to remove a foreign body or any object that appears to be embedded (stuck) in any part of the eye. Get medical help right away.
- Do not use cotton swabs, tweezers, or anything else on the eye itself. Cotton swabs should only be used on the eyelid.