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Your Child's Vision

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Healthy eyes and vision are a critical part of kids' development. Their eyes should be examined regularly, as many vision problems and eye diseases can be detected and treated early.

Eye Doctors

Be sure to make vision care and eye checks a part of your child's routine medical care.

Different kinds of doctors offer eye care, and the names can be confusing:

Eye Exams

Routine medical exams for kids' vision include:

Spotting Eye Problems

Signs that a child may have vision problems include:

In school-age children, watch for other signs such as:

Watch your child for evidence of poor vision or crossed eyes. If you notice any eye problems, have your child examined immediately so that the problem doesn't become permanent.

If caught early, eye conditions often can be reversed.

Common Eye Problems

Several eye conditions can affect kids. Most are detected by a vision screening using an acuity chart during the preschool years.

Other eye conditions require immediate attention, such as retinopathy of prematurity (a disease that affects the eyes of premature babies) and those associated with a family history, including:

Be sure to talk to your doctor if your child is at risk for any of these conditions.

Glasses and Contacts

Kids of all ages — even babies — can wear glasses and contacts.

Keep these tips in mind for kids who wear glasses:

Infants born with congenital cataracts may need to have their cataracts surgically removed during the first few weeks of life. Some children born with cataracts wear contact lenses after cataract surgery.

Around age 10, kids may express a desire to get contact lenses for cosmetic reasons or convenience if they play sports. Allowing a child to wear contacts depends on his or her ability to insert and remove lenses properly, faithfully take them out as required, and clean them as recommended by the doctor. Contact lens problems are almost always caused by poor habits and bad hygiene.

Your eye doctor can help you decide what type of vision correction is best for your child.

Reviewed by: Jonathan H. Salvin, MD
Date reviewed: January 2011

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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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