Vision loss in children

small funny girl in eyeglasses writing and drawing

Vision loss is one of the worst conditions that can affect you or your children but this article sheds more light on everything you need to know about vision loss in children and if there is something that can be done to rectify the problem.

While some children are born with the problem, some develop it later in life. Most vision loss problems are usually diagnosed during normal eye examinations but as a parent or caregiver, there are things you can notice about the child and help in the diagnosis.

Since early diagnosis and treatment are the only way to save a child’s vision loss problem, read on to know the causes, signs to look out for, and treatment options. Who knows, your knowledge can save someone’s eyesight. Hence, be keen and take this information seriously.

Signs and symptoms of vision loss in children

To know if your little one is experiencing vision loss, these are some of the signs to look out for.

Difficulty following an object

If your child finds it hard to follow an object in the direction it is going for, this can only mean the child’s eye-sight is not strong enough to follow the object to where it is headed to.

Try holding a bright object in front of the child’s eyes and then moving it in different directions, if it is still difficult for the child to follow it with his eyes to the different directions you are taking, you must seek medical advice ASAP.

Infants above 3 months should be able to track an object such as a ball or a toy with their eyes as it moves in different directions. If you notice your baby finds it difficult to maintain steady eye contact, it’s important to let your doctor know about your concern.

Misaligned eyes

Although it’s normal to find children with strabismus; a disorder whereby eyes don’t look in exactly the same direction at the same time, it should not be there for children older than four months. If you still notice outward drifting or inward crossing occurring even after four months, it would be best to consult your doctor because this is usually abnormal.

Holding things close to the eyes

The only reason your child will hold things too close to their eyes is when they aren’t able to see them clearly at a normal distance. Observe the child when he’s playing with his toys and if every time he wants to check a toy he struggles to bring it too close to the eyes, it would be best to consult your doctor to rule out the issue of vision loss.

Other symptoms to look out for include

  • Redness in the eyes that doesn’t go away after a few days
  • Child reporting eye itchiness, pain, or discomfort
  • Eyes fluttering too often up and down or side to side
  • Crust or pus in either eye
  • Always watery eyes
  • Overly sensitive eyes to light
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Child blinking or rubbings owns eyes too often

Common problems of vision loss in children

Even though many issues affect children’s vision, the common ones are

  • Hyperopia – Also known as farsightedness, Hyperopia occurs when a child is able to see faraway objects better than near ones.
  • Myopia – Myopia or near-sightedness is when the child clearly sees nearer things but finds it difficult to see distant objects.
  • Astigmatism – Caused by the shape of the cornea, astigmatism is blurred or distorted vision.

Causes of vision loss in children

Well, some children are born with vision difficulties but others develop them later in life. So you must be keen on your child’s sight right after birth and throughout their childhood years.

Some common causes of vision loss in children include:

Eye issues at birth

Conditions like premature birth can lead to eye issues such as Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), a condition known to cause vision loss. What’s more, congenital conditions like albinism, underdevelopment of the optic nerve, and cataracts can lead to vision problems including blindness.

Another problem your child may be born with is Glaucoma; an eye problem caused by high pressure in a child’s eye. It may be passed by the parent to the child or be a result of the development of the child’s eye drainage system.


A severe injury on the head or directly to the eye can lead to eye problems. And as you know, injuries cause trauma. Therefore, if accidentally your eyes are seriously injured, the trauma caused to the eyes can cause vision loss. a good example is if a child gets poked in the eye with a sharp object maybe when playing with another child. Further, trauma to the brain can cause cortical visual impairment.

Medical issues

Many medical conditions can affect a child’s eyesight. For example, some cancers and other eye problems such as eye infections can lead to vision loss. Besides, retinoblastoma is a rare eye cancer more common in children than adults which can lead to vision loss in children.

That’s why it’s important to consult your doctor the moment you notice something amiss with your child’s eyesight because earlier treatment can rectify some of these issues.

Cortical visual impairment

Cortical Visual Impairment, simply abbreviated as CVI is a neurological disorder that results in unique visual responses to the environment, educational materials, and people. Children with these visual characteristics particularly the ones that have already joined school are said to have a loss of acuity and are considered to have CVI.

Treatment of vision loss in children

Good eye care can prevent or even correct a number of eye problems in children. That’s why it’s important to attend all post-natal clinics and keep up with all doctor’s appointments without fail. Earlier detection can solve most eye problems in children.

The best way to help correct your child’s eyesight develop well is to get any vision problem corrected as early as possible. Fortunately, many kids’ eyesight problems can be treated or rectified with several types of therapy, including contact lenses, eyeglasses, and at times surgery.

However, visual impairment including blindness cannot be corrected with any of those. Such children are forced to learn life skills that will enable them to lead a normal life without the ability to see.

The bottom line

We all know how important our sight is. While there are people who are leading normal life even after losing their eye sight, honestly, there are many challenges these individuals go through and wish they had their sight. Although there are problems that are even beyond medics’ knowledge, it is important to consult your doctor as early as you can. If you notice anything abnormal with your child’s sight, consult your doctor.

Also, even when everything seems normal, it’s still important to go for an eye checkup from time to time particularly when your baby is below 10 years when their eyesight is still developing. Some vision issues like a lazy eye may not show any warning signs. So, to ensure your child’s vision is okay, maintain all the doctor’s appointments. That way, in case any eye problem is detected, it will be treated on time.

Recommended For You

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *