Kids Eye Problems
We have listed some of the more frequently found children's vision problems, and provided a brief explanation for each. There are links to more detailed information if you would like it.
Please remember that vision is very complicated and every person is different. the only way anyone can give an accurate opinion about your child's vision is by completing a full and thorough examination in a properly equipped vision testing room. The information here is general information only, and even if you think that the symptoms of condition sounds like your child, we need to do a full eye examination to give you proper advice about your specific circumstances. If you have any questions, please speak to our friendly staff.
Eye Coordination (Convergence Insufficiency)
How well do the two eyes work together on far seeing tasks; and near seeing tasks? How long can they work together to get accurate and clear information without effort, fatigue or discomfort. Eyes not working together can cause difficulty in sustaining visual attention.
Eye teaming or coordination problems (technically known as Convergence Insufficiency) happens when you have trouble keeping both eyes turned in to point in the same position when you are doing close work like reading, writing, computer work. People who can't keep their eyes converged generally have very few visual symptoms. However they do tend to have poorer fine eye-hand and visual motor skills and may avoid certain tasks or activities.
A person who has convergence insufficiency may show and/or complain of the following while doing close work (i.e., reading, computer work, deskwork, playing handheld video games, doing crafts, etc.):
loss of comprehension after short periods of reading.
Archives of Ophthalmology. 2008;126(10):1336-1349
diplopia [double vision],
movement of print while reading
Focusing Problems (Accommodation Disorders)
Focusing problems are also known as Accommodative Dysfunction, particularly at near. This is not so much an eyesight (or clarity) difficulty as a problem in maintaining accurate, comfortable focus particularly with close-up work.
Focusing problems are generally not muscle problems. Occasionally, a child can fail to establish adequate focusing stamina during their early years of development, but in the vast majority of cases focusing dysfunction problems arise from fatigue as a result of sustained near visual tasks such as reading, writing, computer, etc.
Strabismus occurs when the eyes are not correctly aligned and point in different directions when looking at an object. It is commonly known as ‘turned’, ‘lazy’ or ‘crossed’ eyes.
One eye or both eyes may turn either inward (esotropia), outward (exotropia), upward (hypertropia) or downward (hypotropia). Strabismus may be constant or intermittent.
Whilst the causes of strabismus are not completely understood it is known that abnormalities in the muscles and nerves surrounding the eyes are both contributing factors.
A person can be born with strabismus or develop it during infancy or childhood, or later in life. It can also occur as a result of injury to the eye or head trauma.
Sometimes strabismus can be a sign of a more serious eye disease or other health problem, and should always be thoroughly investigated by an eye specialist as soon as possible.
Lazy Eye (Amblyopia)
Amblyopia is the medical term used when the vision in one of the eyes is reduced because the eye and the brain are not working together properly. The eye itself looks normal, but it is not being used normally because the brain is favoring the other eye. This condition is also sometimes called lazy eye Often children who have this problem are not aware of it until they get older but can have a poor sense of space and problems with 3D images.
Amblyopia can result from any condition that prevents the eye from focusing clearly. Amblyopia can be caused by the misalignment of the two eyes—a condition called strabismus. With strabismus, the eyes can cross in (esotropia) or turn out (exotropia).
There are many treatment options for children's vision problems, and we are continually researching new ways to improve our treatments. Most options to improve kids vision are quite safe and do not involve painful procedures. Treatments such as special lenses in spectacles, vision therapy, eye patching and computer training programs are all used at different times for different problems.
When we have examined your child's eyes and we have a full picture of what the problem might be, our optometrist will discuss all of the treatment options with you, and together we can make a decision about how you would like to proceed.