Early vision problems

Parents should pay attention on specific signs or symptoms that the child may show and seek professional help as soon as possible, as these may indicate a serious vision problem.

Parents should pay attention on specific signs or symptoms that the child may
show and seek professional help as soon as possible, as these may
indicate a serious vision problem.

Such symptoms and signs are:

  • Rubbing the eye
  • Closing one eye
  • Tearing Red or swollen eyes
  • Photophobia or unusual sensitivity to the light
  • Fatigue or headache while studying
  • Inability to distinguish objects that other children can
  • Eye that squints 

Refraction abnormalities
Small refractive abnormalities are easy to escape the attention of a
pediatrician or the parents and not be noticed until the child starts
school. School is the place where usually the smallest visual
disturbances are revealed, mainly because of the board the teacher
writes on during the lesson.
Attention is needed both by parents and by teachers to not confuse an
underlying problem of Vision with learning disability.

Tearing is such a common problem that many experts consider it as a normal
phenomenon at least for the first few months of life.
It is due to the fact that the lacrimal resources have not yet opened,
resulting in overflow of tears which cannot be a released. Lacrimal
pores naturally open during the completion of the first year of life
and so the problem is eliminated. Otherwise opening may be required
by an ophthalmology specialist.

Redness and photophobia
Sometimes tearing is associated with red eyes or photophobia. Such symptoms can
indicate serious problems such as inflammation, irritation or even
glaucoma, i.e. damage to the optic nerve due to an increase in eye
The infantile glaucoma leads to redness, corneal clouding and reduction
of vision, and often (because the eye of the child is still placid?)
increased pressure causes an increase in the size of the eyeball.
Such situations should be referred to an ophthalmology specialist
without delay.

Strabismus and Amblyopia
Normally both eyes focus on the same spot. If one of the two eyes is looking
in another direction from the fixation point, then we are talking
about strabismus.

Apart from the loss of sense of three-dimensional objects and sense of
depth of the surrounding environment, the brain of the child with
strabismus, unable to combine two completely different images the
eyes produce in one, it is forced to repel the image from the eye
with strabismus, leading to irreversible reduction of visual acuity.

This condition is called amblyopia and is often referred to as "lazy
eye." If not identified and addressed in the early years of life
an eye with strabismus will lead to permanent functional impairment
with a significant decrease in vision.

Parents and pediatricians should detect as quickly as possible such symptoms
observing the child, even if it is not able to describe them. In
infancy, for example, we may notice that the child covers or closes
one eye to see, or tilts his head in an unusual position.

In rare cases, strabismus may conceal other more serious conditions such
as cataract and glaucoma or some sort of damage to the retina or the
optic nerve.

Other findings from the eyes
Sometimes parents can be notice that the pupil of the eye of the child is not
uniformly "black" (or "red" in the photos).

This may be due to some abnormality that disrupts the transparency of the
eye, such as cataract or a corneal opacity, or more rarely in ocular
tumors or retinal detachment. Such findings should be examined
immediately by an ophthalmology specialist.