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3 Good Reasons To Bring Your Child to the Eye Doctor

Pediatric Optometrist in Houston

Many people wait to call the optometrist when they experience blurred vision. Unfortunately, many of us do the same with our children. We are prompted to schedule an eye exam when our child fails a vision screening at the pediatrician's office or at school, or at the child's first complaint of blurry vision. However, children can experience binocular vision problems with or without blurred vision.

In fact, optometrists and ophthalmologists don’t really use blurry vision to judge children who suffer from vision problems. While they take blurred vision seriously when a child complains, they also look at many other factors when examining children. Binocular vision problems occur when the visual system fails to use both eyes together with accuracy. Sometimes these problems can occur without a frank complaint of blurry vision, neither far away or up close.

The following are three good reasons to take your child to the eye doctor for a checkup to check for problems that don't necessarily involve blurred vision as the primary complaint.

1.Latent Hyperopia

Hyperopia or hypermetropia is farsightedness. Latent farsightedness is a term used to describe when farsightedness is masked (when the focusing muscles are being used to increase the eye's focusing power). Farsightedness can be tricky. Some children and even some young adults can actually be quite farsighted without ever complaining of blurred vision.

Children have such powerful focusing systems that they can focus extra hard to compensate for great amounts of farsightedness. They manage to make their vision clear, but only by focusing or accommodating. Someone that has latent farsightedness may have to focus twice as hard as someone who does not.

Instead of complaining of headaches or blurry vision, children who have uncorrected hyperopia may quit reading or act out in class and get in trouble.

2. Convergence Insufficiency (CI)

Convergence insufficiency is the name given to a condition in which a person cannot converge the eyes inward while focusing on a target at a close range. The eyes normally turn inward or converge and increase in focusing power when viewing something at a close range when the visual system is normal. The systems that control the inward turning of the eye muscles and the muscle inside the eye that causes the eye to focus or accommodate are closely related.

Children who have convergence insufficiency find it difficult to fuse the two images together when looking at a new object. One eye may drift outward when they attempt to focus on a nearby word or object. They may be able to focus just fine, but the eye muscles have a very difficult time turning inward. When they are not able to converge their eyes easily and accurately, children may have eye strain, double vision, headaches, difficulty concentrating, dizziness or motion sickness.

3. Convergence Excess

Convergence excess is a term used to describe another eye muscle imbalance in which the eyes tend to cross inward too much when looking at an object at a close distance. This is caused by some type of mismatch between the eyes and the brain. The system must work harder to maintain the alignment of the eyes than it needs to. In some cases, people who suffer from convergence excess see double. Because our brains do not like seeing double, the brain begins to suppress one of the images when double vision occurs. Convergence excess can affect one or both eyes.

When the eyes cross in, it is said to be an esotropia. If a child has the tendency for the eyes to cross in but can keep them straight most of the time, it is called an esophoria. An esophoria is sort of a latent esotropia. The eyes can control it most of the time, but if one or both eyes actually cross in, it is labeled an esotropia. Symptoms of esophoria are occasional double vision, eye fatigue, headaches, pulling sensation around the eyes, head tilting, or excessive blinking.

Source: verywell

Pediatric Optometrist in Houston.

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