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Eye Care for Children: How opticians can help protect young eyes

by Eric Gathoni

Eye Care for Children: How opticians can help protect young eyes

Meaning of Eye Care

Primarily eye care is about meeting the level of nutrients through regular food intake or external supplies like eye drops or medicines.

Along with adults, due to rapid lifestyle changes, children’s eyesight is also affected, resulting in having lenses or eyeglasses for kids from a very premature age. Spending more time indoors concentrating on objects like computers or mobile phones is becoming the primary reason for the deterioration of young eyesight. 

Opticians here can help parents assess their basic observations on vision performance by classifying their vision issues, layering symptoms and other concerns and guide them to an optometrist for further detailed assessment.

Significance of Eye Care

Eyes are vital to leading a life with a certain quality, and it’s a fact that we only get one pair of eyes which is why eye care is important. A healthy vision and proper eyesight are our fundamental concerns that can be achieved from the beginning.

Diligent care from the beginning lowers the odds of blindness or vision loss at the later stage in life. It helps in staying at a distance from eye problems like cataracts.

Proper eye care also reduces the chances of injuries while helping in the early detection of vision changes. Keeping track of any medical conditions in case of family history is crucial.

Common eye problems

Following are some eye problems, descriptions and explanations of concerns to opticians can help take action faster.

Lazy eye (Amblyopia):

In the scenario, normal vision is not developed due to various factors, or the brain fails to process inputs making eyesight weak. It can be improved with the help of eyeglasses for kids, contacts, patches or other medication.



This is one of the common problems in children’s eyesight due to abnormalities in the eye’s surface. On detection can be treated with eyeglasses for kids or lenses.

Childhood tearing/Epiphora:

It is noted soon after the birth but can be acquired later. It mostly happens due to blockage in the tear drainage system. Sometimes it improves on its own up to 12 months of age. In other cases can be treated with eye drops or tear sac massage.

Double vision:

One can see one object in two different places, and its dimensions can be vertical or horizontal or diagonal in appearance. It can be treated with proper treatment from an ophthalmologist and optometrist.

Pediatric Cataract:

There is a cloudiness on the lenses of the eyes or a white area in the pupil, or misalignment of the eyes can also be a sign, but early detection and treatment are complicated at a young age for children.

Pediatric Glaucoma:

This is associated with high pressure in the eyes, which can further damage the optic nerve. It is a rare condition to be occurring in childhood, but signs can be cloudy cornea, frequent blinking, light sensitivity or redness in the eye.

Critical Visual Impairment:

In this case, the eyes are normal, but the visual system in the brain does not function properly, causing permanent vision loss.

Genetic eye disease:

These diseases are often inherited from other family members who have or are suffering from the same condition.

Developmental Abnormalities:

These types of abnormalities can occur during the development of the fetus.

Common symptoms

The symptoms below can be explained to the optician on regular observations at home and then visit an optometrist accordingly.

  1. Disinterest in distant objects

  2. Head tilting

  3. Closing an eye or adjusting it while looking at something

  4. Holding objects very close to eyes

  5. Squinting

  6. Eye rubbing

  7. Sensitivity to light

  8. Poor hand-eye coordination

  9. Disinterest in reading or difficulty in reading or writing

  10. Difficulty in paying attention

  11. Blurry or double vision

  12. Headache or eye pain

  13. Taking more than usual to complete homework.

Common causes of eye problems

The primary and common causes of eye problems at an early age in young ones are the following. Knowing them and discussing them with your optician to detect the issues is essential.

  1. Increased screen time

  2. Irregularity on the surface of the eye

  3. Trauma to the muscles controlling eye movements


    Damage to the optic nerves during accidents or trauma


  5. Too long or shorter eyeballs and too much curved or flatter cornea

  6. Presence of any disease in the family that can be inherited

  7. Some abnormal developments in the fetus

  8. Bacteria or viral infection

  9. The vision system in the brain does not function properly

  10. Blocked oil glands in eyelids.

Preventive tips for eye care

Proactive care is necessary after understanding the importance and considering the possible damage that can happen. Here are some essential proactive precautionary tips to protect your eyesight. These remedies can be implemented at the beginner stage of eyeglasses for kids. These tips can be confirmed by an optician and implemented into your daily routine.

Routine examination:

It is vital to get your child’s vision examined regularly, even when there are no signs of any disturbances. This helps detect the problem at a very early stage and makes it easy to cure the same.

Routine examination:

Proper rest for eyes:

It is almost impossible to avoid contact with screening nowadays but the time spent looking at screens can be restricted. The eye must rest after focusing on something for a long time. You need to maintain 8 hours of sleep for a healthy vision.

Taking care of contacts or glasses:

When your kid is prescribed to use glasses or contacts, it is important to maintain them regularly. It needs to be cleaned daily and kept in tidy places. Children should use them delicately as improper use can injure the eye.

Correct eyewear according to condition:

In the case of prescription, it is necessary to consult an optician on the use of glasses or lenses, considering the number assigned. With children, it is essential to consult and guide them about the use of eyewear as they are almost always active. When sunlight exposure is significant, sunglasses become essential to protect the vision from harmful rays.

Cleaning of eyes regularly:

During the day, it is appropriate to keep cleaning your eyes with a soft, damp cloth or warm water after some specific hours. Especially in cases of having exposure to dust mites, pet fur or long stressful hours, cleansing them relieves a lot of stress and keeps your eye warm and refreshed.

Look out for warning signs:

In the case of children, it becomes a tough job to keep an eye on their visual performance. It is essential to understand the signs yourself and keep asking your kid in case of any pain or issues it is facing. Observing the signs sooner helps detect the problem early when it is not entirely developed and is curable with regular or some advanced medication.

Increase time spent outside:

Having your eyes interact with outer space is also essential because the calm environment helps soothe your eyesight. Besides calming the mind, colorful surroundings and fresh air allow your eyes to breathe in fresh oxygen and remain fresh. This multicolour interaction also helps in detecting color blindness and other disorders sooner.

Schedule regular check-ups:

Along with continued follow-up check-ups in case of eye problems, you should keep checking up on your kid’s vision even though they are not showing any symptoms. In cases of having lenses or eyeglasses for kids, it is beneficial to keep track of changes in optic numbers. It works better in case of detecting a vision change at an early pace.

Maintain distance while reading:

There should be a healthy distance between the reading material and the eyes during the reading. The ideal distance should be of minimum 30-40 cm. A decrease or increase in length is the symptom of the beginning of an eye issue. The presence of light and focus should also be taken care of while reading. Rest should be given after focusing for long hours.

Provide a balanced diet:

Nutrition plays a vital role in eye care. A properly balanced diet helps prevent a lot of disorders from happening. Your food shall contain fruits, vitamin C and E sources, omega-3 fatty acids, leafy vegetables for vitamin A and other necessary protein sources. Balanced nutrition helps in keeping your vision healthy and eyesight moist and comfortable.

Basic diagnosis examinations

Some basic observations can be confirmed at home by having your child read a set of letters with decreasing font size printed on paper from a certain distance with both eyes or an eye with the help of patches. But it is essential to get examinations performed under a certified doctor for confirmation.

After sharing your concerns and observations with the optician, if there is any severe symptom or issue involved, they will suggest you go ahead with an appointment with an optometrist and get some of the following examinations performed.

In this test, you are presented with a set of letters with decreasing font size, and they make you read the letters aloud from a specified distance. This is also performed with patches on one eye while covering the other with a patch.

Visual refraction eye test:

It is performed to determine the accuracy of passing light waves through your cornea or lenses and if any issue disrupts your vision. It is done to decide on the correct lens or eyeglasses for kids to normalize their vision.

Visual field test:

The test determines how much area your vision covers without moving the eyes. It helps confirm peripheral vision.

Slit-lamp test:

This test helps the doctor look more into the eye. It is generally performed to check an eye’s cornea, iris and interior structure.

Glaucoma test:

This is done to measure the pressure in your eyes. It helps detect glaucoma in the eye.

Colourblind test:

This examination is performed to assess your ability to distinguish between the colors.


You will be asked to stare at a large target while light will shine in your eyes, and some lenses will be flipped to assess the vision. It determines the eye correction requirement through eyeglasses for kids or contacts.

Treatment for the eye problems

Treatment for the eye problems

As there are various issues involved with eye care, the treatments available are also advancing. In the case of eye care for kids, it is always advised to keep a regular track of developments. It helps the early detection of potential issues, and treatment for them goes easy.

For early detection of problems, treatments such as eye drops, protein tablets, eye patches, eyeglasses or contacts are implemented. In middle-level development, a high medication dosage is given, and surgery is suggested in case of severe disruption.

Depending upon the issue and course of treatment, it gets decided how often you should go to the optician

Eyeglasses or contacts for kids

When eyeglasses or contacts are prescribed to your child, it is vital to take care of certain things mentioned ahead. It is necessary to consider some precautionary steps as children are usually very active and sometimes can get moody. Making them understand the need for a given glass or contacts is essential and guiding them on how to use it is way more complicated.

  • In the case of eyeglasses for kids, It is suggested to get plastic frames or lenses made of impact-resistant plastic for safety purposes. 

  • Letting the children choose their frame with the help of an optician assures their maximum use of it by them.

  • They should be made aware of proper care procedures for using glasses or contact and the impacts of non-following guidelines.

Wrapping Up

Eye care is way more crucial and complicated in children. Regularly checking up and maintaining track of their vision developments is vital. You can go to the experienced optician with your concerns and observations and ask for their opinion and guidance. Keeping an eye on some primary symptoms and underlying causes makes it easy to maintain healthy vision. Also, good hygiene habits, a balanced diet and some precautions can prevent damage to your children’s vision and eyesight.