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What Are the Most Common Eye Problems in Children?

Jun 13, 2024 | Children's Eye Health

Is your child struggling in school or avoiding reading, writing, or any close-up activities? It’s common for young children to get easily distracted and lose interest in lengthy tasks. However, for some children, it might indicate an eye problem. Poor vision can impact your child’s reading, writing, blackboard/smartboard work, and sports. When a child’s eyes aren’t up to the challenge, they may feel tired, have trouble concentrating, and perform poorly in school. Keep reading to learn about the most common eye problems in children and what treatment options are available.  


Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a common eye problem in children where distant objects appear blurry but close-up objects are clear. This condition often develops during childhood and may progress as the child grows. Treatment options for myopia include prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses to help correct vision.  

If left untreated, myopia can increase your child’s risk of other eye issues later in life, such as retinal detachment, cataracts, and glaucoma. At the Eyecare Center of Ken Caryl, we offer myopia management services in Littleton, Colorado to help slow myopia progression and lower the risk of these conditions. Encouraging your child to take breaks from screens and spend more time outdoors can also help slow down the progression of myopia. 


Hyperopia, or farsightedness, is the opposite of myopia and is a vision condition where close-up objects appear blurry but distant objects are clear. This condition can be corrected with prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. It’s important to address hyperopia early on to prevent eye strain and discomfort while reading or doing close-up work. 


Astigmatism is a condition where the cornea or lens of the eye is irregularly shaped, causing blurry vision at all distances. Corrective lenses such as glasses or contacts can help improve vision for children with astigmatism. In some cases, surgery may also be recommended to correct the shape of the cornea. Early detection and treatment of astigmatism can help prevent further vision problems in children. 


Amblyopia, or lazy eye, occurs when one eye has significantly weaker vision than the other. This condition often develops during early childhood and can lead to permanent vision loss if left untreated. Treatment for lazy eye may include vision therapy or wearing an eye patch over the stronger eye to help strengthen the weaker one. 


Strabismus, also known as crossed eyes, happens when one or both eyes turn inward or outward instead of focusing on the same object. Strabismus can cause double vision and depth perception issues in children. Treatment options for crossed eyes may include prescription eyeglasses, patching therapy, vision therapy, or surgery in severe cases. It’s crucial for children with crossed eyes to get treatment early to avoid lasting issues. 


Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is a highly contagious infection that causes redness and swelling of the conjunctiva (the clear tissue covering the white part of the eye). It can be caused by bacteria, viruses, allergens, or irritants and often leads to discharge from the eyes. Frequent hand washing and avoiding touching infected surfaces can prevent it from spreading among children. Treatment for pink eye depends on the underlying cause and may include antibiotic drops for bacterial infections or antihistamine drops for allergic reactions. 

It’s not always easy to tell if your kid has an eye issue. Children do not usually complain about vision problems, and the best way to detect them is through regular pediatric eye exams. At the Eyecare Center of Ken Caryl, we offer pediatric eye exams in Littleton for children ages 10 months and older. Schedule your child’s next eye exam today to ensure your child’s eyes are healthy and seeing clearly for years to come!