Bad vision does not hurt, so children usually do not complain about their ametropia or vision problems. But children who see poorly find it harder to do many things than they need to: learning, doing sports or going to school. Regular examination of children's eyes are unproblematic, but essential for the visual health of children and their further development.
How do you develop ametropia in children?
Defective vision arises when the eye deviates from the ideal form. If it is too short, then the eye is farsighted, but if the eyeball is too long, it is shortsighted.
If the curvature of the cornea deviates from the spherical shape, this is called astigmatism of the cornea. Then the illustration of a point appears as a line - hence the name "astigmatism".
Find ametropia early
Defective vision is not always noticeable in childhood. Children's eyes have a very strong ability to accommodate them, which means that they can compensate for refractive errors by deforming the flexible eye lens. Therefore, it may sometimes require some persuasion to let the child understand the need for the glasses.
Balancing the visual defect is especially important in children, so that the vision can develop fully. Especially when the child is squinting or when the refractive power of both eyes is very different, it may be that the brain suppresses the visual impression of an eye. If this happens in the long term, then one-sided poor eyesight threatens, which can not be reversed.
At the latest with two and a half to three and a half years, all children should therefore be examined by ophthalmologists.
Eye examinations at the pediatrician
As part of the legally recommended check-ups at the pediatrician is a total of three times the visual sense of the child in focus: The U 5, the U 8 and the U 9. These investigations are good, but not enough: problematic is the rather large temporal gap between the investigations
- The U 5 is recommended between 6 and 7 months of age,
- the U 8 at the age of about 3½ to 4 years and
- the U 9 shortly before school starts with about 5 years.
In these years, the performance of children's eyes changes quite strongly. After all, children and their eyes do not grow evenly and proportionally. This also changes the vision constantly. Precisely during the first years of life, however, targeted treatment by the ophthalmologist can make a decisive contribution to fully developing the children's sense of sight.
Kerstin Kruschinski from the board of trustees Good Vision: "The visual acuity of a toddler is refined by the processed visual impressions, so it is particularly important to detect defective vision as early as possible and counteract accordingly." Even babies can wear glasses! "
Symptoms of vision problems
The offered preventive check-ups are not enough to reliably detect poor eyesight in the little ones. Therefore, parents should necessarily and regularly observe the sight of their little ones.
Signs that indicate a child is ill are complaints of headache, burning eyes, increased blinking, or sensitivity to dazzle. Even if the child reads "with the nose", it is suspected that a defective vision is the reason. The eyes of squinting children also have a refractive error in most cases. Glasses then often helps to reduce the squint angle.
Since a child can not distinguish good vision from poor vision because of the lack of comparison - it does not know otherwise - and the poor vision can express itself in many symptoms, parents should take the alarm signals described below seriously.
Symptoms of blurred vision in babies
- Cloudy cornea
- Grayish-white or yellowish pupils
- Trembling, inflamed, watery or yellowish eyes
Symptoms in kindergarten and school children
- Constant rubbing of the eyes
- Frequent tripping, general balance disorders
- Small distance to book, screen or TV
- Increasing difficulty at dusk or dark
Book candy test
With the so-called "Book Candy Test" parents can check the eyesight of infants quickly and without problems: Small sugar globules on the hand wake the attention of children from the sixth month of life. If the child - even when covering an eye - pursues the sugar globules with his eyes or reaches for them, everything is fine.
- Legally recommended check-ups are not enough to detect the sight of children.
- Regular examinations by the ophthalmologist and optometrist are essential. They are carried out quickly and without problems.
- Parents, watch out: Watch out for alarms like watery eyes or a crooked head posture.