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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, other signs to watch for include:

Watch your child for signs of poor vision or crossed eyes. If you notice any eye problems, have your child examined right away so that the problem doesn't become permanent. If caught early, eye conditions often can be corrected.

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 need 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:

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

Around age 10, kids may want to get contact lenses for cosmetic reasons or if they play sports. To wear contacts, a child will need to know how to insert and remove lenses properly, take them out as required, and clean them as recommended by the doctor. Contact lens problems are almost always due to 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: June 2014

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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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