With a new school year right around the corner, you’re busy helping your kiddos wind down from summer and prepare to get back to the books. Between shopping for school supplies and planning carpooling schedules, it’s important to squeeze in an eye exam for your children. Children should have an eye exam every two years if they don’t need vision correction, and annually if they have glasses or contacts. These exams are important to ensure your child is developing near and distance vision, hand-eye coordination, coordination between eyes, and peripheral vision. An exam can also help catch common disorders or eye diseases like:
Amblyopia, also known as a lazy eye: Occurs when one eye is stronger than the other, causing unequal vision. It can be treated if detected early.
Ptosis: The upper eyelid droops over the eye, partially blocking vision. This can sometimes cause amblyopia.
“Cloudy” eyes: This appearance can be caused by several conditions, including scarring (from previous infection or injury) and cataract.
Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye: A very contagious viral or bacterial infection that causes inflammation, redness, itchy discharge, and sometimes a sore throat and fever.
Chalazion: A painless lump on the eyelid caused by a blockage and swelling of the meibomian gland, which secretes oil.
Stye (also called a hordeolum): An infected oil gland in the eyelid that causes a painful red bump. These tend to be closer to the surface of the eyelid than chalazion.
Cellulitis: A trauma-related infection that causes tissues around the eye to become red and swollen.
If you suspect any of these conditions in your child, schedule an appointment with your illumin ophthalmologist for an examination.