LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- It's Medical Monday and we're discussing children and eye health. Dr. Dan Hennessey of Little Rock Eye Clinic was here on "THV 11 This Morning" to talk about how good vision can help a child's physical development, success in school and overall well-being.
Over 12 million school-age children, roughly 1 in 4, have some level of vision impairment. Here are some of the most common vision issues for kids.
Among preschoolers, 1 in 20 has a vision problem of some kind.
The eyes are not aligned properly and point in different directions
A different degree of vision in each eye; for example just one eye is nearsighted
Vision is distorted and objects are difficult to see clearly close or far away
This is also known as a "lazy eye."
These are all easily addressed with corrective lenses, medicine or, in a few cases, surgery; but if left untreated some of these conditions could lead to permanent vision loss.
With school starting, vision issues can become even more problematic and could affect grades and social interaction. Your child isn't likely to complain about being nearsighted but they may talk about having difficulty seeing the blackboard. Or you might observe them squinting when they read. The key is to observe your child. Here are some things to look for:
Signs to look for:
- Close or cover an eye
- Complain of blur
- Mucus, tearing or crusting
- Difficulty reading
- Eye rubbing
- Hold things close
- Frequent blinking
- Crossed eyes
- Red eyes
Of course, it's probably best to check out your child's vision before a problem arises. When do children need to have their eyes checked?
Unfortunately, 80% of preschoolers DO NOT get eye exams. This is the best way to find an issue before it becomes serious. Here are some important milestones for eye exams in children:
Newborn: First exam
Infant: Between 6 months and 1 year old
Toddler: Between the ages of 3 and 3 ½
School Age: If no problems at age 5, test every 3-5 years
You can get more information on recommended eye care by going to LittleRockEye.com.