Children will never complain about eye problems: they’ll just change activity.’ Most children are born long-sighted because the eyeball is small. However, the child will become less long-sighted as the eyeball grows. Although very few children are born short-sighted, this can develop typically around the age of seven, especially if there is a family history.
Both long and short-sight can result in an optician prescribing glasses for your child. Parents often worry how their child will cope with glasses. However, according to Miss Leitch, Consultant Paediatric Ophthalmologist at The Portland Hospital, children adjust very easily. ‘Most children shouldn’t need glasses but if their eyesight interferes with their concentration at school then they will,’ she says. ‘It usually takes a couple of days for them to settle into wearing them.’
‘At the age of two and three, children aren’t self-conscious and they’ll just get used to wearing glasses and be happy they can see properly.’
‘More serious eye conditions in children are rare. They include retinoblastoma, a malignant tumour of the retina which affects around 50 children a year in the UK. This is usually first detected in a picture of the affected child’s face,’ says Miss Leitch. ‘A classic sign is the child’s pupil will reflect as white in a photograph using the flash,’ she says.
‘If the photograph is taken with a digital camera then you get a lot of false positives. But this is how eye disease can get picked up – through a photograph - and this should be publicised in GP surgeries as it can save lives.’
“There are tell - tale signs such as sitting too close to the television , an inability to recognize siblings and a short attention span . If this is a first child, then mum might not have noticed they ’re having difficulties ”
6 Signs To Look Out For:
Poking or rubbing their eyes
Being unusually clumsy for their age e.g. running into furniture
Eyes pointing in different directions
An inability to recognise siblings
Sitting too close to the television
Eyes that are always sensitive to light