There are many defects, disorders and diseases which can occur due to genetic reasons and trauma to cause weakness in eyesight. Almost all the problems which are causes of weak eyesight in children and toddlers show up after few weeks of birth. Some can be identified and treated within few weeks of birth but some are difficult to notice at early age and get treated at later age. Out of these there are certain problems which can aggravate as time progresses, and harm overall eye functions and lead to permanent weakness in eyesight.
Causes of Weak Eyesight in Children and Toddlers
Ocular muscle problems – Eye lens are connected through ocular muscles which make them move and focus, Strabismus is one of the most common causes of weak eyesight in children and toddlers which can throw two eyes out of alignment. The eyes can align inwards, outwards, downwards and upwards depending upon the muscle which is affected. This prevents proper visual functions and image formation over retina to cause weakness in eyesight. This can be noticed around the age of 6 months and shall be treated before the age of two years to prevent any permanent damage to vision. Nystgmus is also called as jumpy or jerky eye which is signified by involuntary eye movement. Usually it affects only one eye but in some cases both the eyes get affected. Ocular trauma is another one of the common causes of weak eyesight in children and toddlers. If ocular muscles get punctured, lacerated or injured accidentally these cause weakness in eyesight which needs immediate medical attention to protect vision.
Optic atrophy – This problem occurs due to number of reasons and does not show any other symptom than poor vision or un-improving vision with age. The eyes appear normal and wearing glasses does not improve eyesight. It is too one of the common causes of weak eyesight in children and toddlers.
Optic nerve hypoplasia – This problem does not have any treatment as it occurs due to regressed optic nerve or malformation of brain. It is one of the major causes of weak eyesight in children and toddlers and is a condition which occurs due to neurological insult during pre-natal phase or due to endocrine disorders.
Cataract – The cloudiness of lens of eye which depletes vision can be identified within few weeks of birth and can be treated at any age. If left untreated in a young child it causes severe damage to vision by not allowing proper development of retinal functions. This too is one of the common causes of weak eyesight in children and toddlers.
Infantile glaucoma – This problem occurs when there is imbalance in production of aqueous fluid and drainage of this fluid which causes build-up of intra-ocular pressure. This problem shows external symptoms and shall be treated at the earliest to prevent any permanent damage to vision.
Refractive errors – This is a kind of defect which can be treated by glasses or by lenses in case of toddlers. This problem causes near-sightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. If identified in a child less than a year old it shall be treated immediately as child eyes are still developing and refractive errors may cause malformation or under-development of retinal functions. This is one of the most common causes of weak eyesight in children and toddlers.
Retinopathy of prematurity – It is estimated that nearly 25% of prematurely born babies develop retinopathy which causes poor vision or blindness. If child is premature ROP is one of the main causes of weak eyesight in children and toddlers. By proper treatment progression of the disease can be checked and if treated at an early age the damage can be minimized.
Pre-natal causes – Some problems which are common causes of weak eyesight in children and toddlers occur during pre-natal phase like clefts in the iris, dislocated lens and syndrome-related abnormalities. These problems lead to vision related problems and show external symptoms which can be treated at an early age.
Infections – These are most common causes of weak eyesight in children and toddlers. Conjuctiva is most common type of infection which causes weak eyesight in children and toddlers. Amongst others herpes, cytomegalovirus and toxoplasmosis are commonly found infections causing weak eyesight.
Generally poor hygiene and improper care during pregnancy are major reasons for all these problems which deteriorate vision and eye functions in child. Trauma and injuries during or immediately after birth are other causes of the problem. Some children are born with myopia and retinal detachment, myopia is easily treatable while retinal detachment is very rare condition. Noticing child’s behaviour particularly within first two years of his or her life can give a clear picture of vision related issues, if there are any. However some problems become evident at later age when child is needed to focus and see near and far objects clearly. Avoiding certain habits like too much TV, video games and computer use can prevent any other problem from surging-up and maintain sharper vision. These will surely going to provide with the weak eyesight cure.
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