We are often quick to write off the small idiosyncrasies we notice in our children as just that, a representation of their wonderful individuality, and we’d generally be right. However, sometimes it’s worth taking a closer look.
Signs your child might have an eye problem
For instance, does your child tilt their head a bit while watching TV, or does he or she squint adorably while concentrating? Maybe your child walks into stationary objects? Or is a little clumsy when on the go? Well, while you whip out your first aid kit of NEXCARE™ products; including plasters, wound dressings, tapes and wraps, to help heal those bumps and bruises, it may be time to reflect on all of those little ‘quirks’ because they are also all potential signs that your child may suffer from amblyopia or lazy eye.
What is amblyopia or a lazy eye?
According to various scientific studies and eye specialists, amblyopia is the leading cause of decreased vision among children. But don’t panic just yet, if caught early enough and treated correctly, it’s often a completely reversible condition.
‘Lazy eye’ is a small misfire that develops between the brain and eye. Children who develop it generally tend to have good vision in one eye and poor vision in the other. The brain compensates for this by favouring the stronger eye and ignoring the weaker one, which can result in temporary or permanent vision impairment, if it goes without treatment.
Treatment for lazy eye: How 3M NEXCARE™ Opticlude™ can help
Wearing an eye patch over the stronger eye helps to strengthen the weaker one, as the brain can no longer compensate. Eye patches like 3M NEXCARE™ Opticlude™ are usually used as part of a doctor recommended treatment plan.
Length of treatment will depend on many factors including your child’s age, the severity of the vision impairment, and how well they comply with the doctor’s treatment plan. Your eye specialist will advise on the number of hours that the patch should be worn on a daily basis.
NEXCARE™ Opticlude™ Eye Patches, made from 3M Micropore™ Surgical Tape are comfortable to wear and are highly breathable and gentle on the skin. Their absorbent, non-stick pad and hypoallergenic adhesive ensure the patches are safe for intended use, stick well, and are easily removed.
How do I know if my child needs treatment for a lazy eye?
Here are a few signs that specialists say you should be on the look-out for, as they may indicate your child has a lazy eye requiring treatment.
Bumping into things, especially on one side
Your child is no doubt active and adventurous. However, if they are also accident prone, tripping up stairs and falling over objects, it could be as a result of something like poor depth perception.
Squinting, closing or rubbing one eye
If you spot your child doing any of these things habitually, they may be trying to find a way to ‘clear’ their blurry vision.
A wandering eye
Here the eye moves inwards or outwards. This is not the same as strabismus, which is the crossing or turning of the eye.
Tilting or turning their head to the side
This may be especially noticeable when they’re looking at something in the distance, for instance watching their favourite show on TV.
Difficulty with sport
Your child may love to run, play, catch and throw. However they may also (despite their willingness to be involved) suffer from poor performance in this area. This could be due to poor coordination and/or depth perception.
What should you do if you are worried that your child has amblyopia or a lazy eye?
The first step is to visit an eye specialist. Once diagnosis is confirmed, a treatment plan can be put in place. Treatment may include a combination of factors including prescription glasses, patches like the 3M NEXCARE™ Opticlude™, vision therapy, drops, surgery and prisms.
As long as the visual impairment is discovered and the treatment plan put in place at an early age, the issue is often 100% reversible. So, keep an eye on things. If you do, your child’s future looks good.