When a child experiences eye pain or irritation, they’re not always good at expressing their problem. Some children may allow an eye problem to continue without telling you. So, it’s a good idea to identify symptoms when they occur so that you can schedule a visit to an eye doctor in Northwest Florida.
Below, we look at the symptoms of eye problems in children so that you can act quickly when your child is experiencing discomfort. If you have any questions about potential issues with your children’s eyes, contact Gulf Coast Vision Center. We’re here to help you when you need it most.
When Should I Be Concerned About My Child’s Eyes?
You should be concerned about your child’s eyes if they complain of eye pain, irritation or vision loss. Some common symptoms of eye problems include:
- Excessive blinking
- Chronic eye rubbing
- Spots on the white of the eye
- Seeing spots in vision
- Itchy or red eyes
- Different sized pupils
- Drooping eyelids
- Sleeping with eyes open
- Eye discharge or watery eyes
- Misalignened eyes
- Constantly covering an eye
- Head tilting
- White or gray pupils
- Sensitivity to light
If your child cannot see close or far away objects, has trouble reading, complains of constant headaches, or squints a lot, they may have eye problems that require a professional eye exam or treatment.
Your child may complain that their eyes are itchy or that things look fuzzy. They may tell you that they have double vision or feel dizzy or sick when trying to look at certain objects.
Note: Some eye conditions have little to no symptoms. For this reason, it is important to schedule an eye exam for your child at an early age.
What Are the Most Common Eye Problems in Children?
Lazy Eye (Amblyopia)
During your child’s development, the brain does not process the visual input from one eye and, over time, is conditioned to ignore the inputs. As a result, the weaker eye loses vision. Common symptoms of lazy eye include squinting, poor depth perception, eye wandering and head tilting.
Swelling Eyelids (Chalazion)
Chronic swelling occurs due to oil gland blockage. If infected, the swelling caused by the blockage spreads through the eyelid, causing redness and pain.
Astigmatism, Farsightedness, Nearsightedness
If your child complains that they can’t see objects up close or far away, they may have a refractive error in their eyes. These conditions are caused by eye surface abnormalities that prevent light from reaching the retina.
Eye Misalignment (Strabismus)
Your child’s eyes point in different directions, causing misalignment. The condition can occur at birth or in the early stages of your child’s development.
Excessive Watering or Tearing (Epiphora)
When the tear ducts have a blockage, it causes chronic watering or tearing in the eyes. As a result, infection occurs, leading to complications. In most cases, epiphora clears up in a few months. However, if the condition worsens, your child may need to see an eye doctor in Northwest Florida.
Cloudy Eyes, Blurred Visions (Cataracts)
If your child complains that everything looks cloudy or blurry, they may have eye cataracts at an early age. If left untreated, cataracts can lead to blindness. Your eye doctor can perform a simple eye exam to detect cataracts in your child’s eyes.
Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)
Pink eye is a condition in which redness occurs in the whites of the eyes due to an infection or allergy. Viral and bacterial pink eye is contagious and can spread from one child to another. You can reduce the risk of conjunctivitis by teaching your child to practice good hygiene.
When Should I Contact My Eye Doctor?
Not all eye problems require an eye exam or medical treatment from a specialist. Some problems go away after applying an over-the-counter treatment. However, some situations require immediate medical attention.
For instance, if a chronic condition persists or your child constantly complains of discomfort, you should schedule an eye exam. In addition, you should arrange an emergency medical visit if your child’s eye is injured.