Astigmatism is very common in children. However, as one of those eye problems that are suspected to be inherited from parents, astigmatism is not always easy to notice. Commonly, astigmatism can be detected when the children reach the age of 3, wherein their vision ability is intensively employed in daily basis. However, in children with astigmatism-influenced parents, astigmatism does not immediately occur after birth or during pre-school ages. Instead, many children develop this vision problem during teenage year or even adulthood. While in adults treatments for astigmatism commonly vary, in children they have to be carefully decided, as their eyes and the cornea are still growing, and these treatments may give some side effects.
Observing main symptoms of astigmatism in toddlers
When children start to be involved in some active activities, the symptoms of astigmatism can usually be observed more easily. To provide proper treatments for children astigmatism, it is very important to check their eyes for the occurrence of irregular corneal shaping. Some symptoms need to be observed and those include:
- Sitting too close to the television or holding a book too close to the eyes.
- Frequent head tilts in order to gain better visions or to get rid of blurriness.
- Frequent eye rubbing.
- Being too sensitive to light and thus, often cover the eyes from excessive light intensity.
- Frequent occurrence of headaches.
- Complaining about tiredness of the eyes.
- Avoiding certain activities that require vision or concentrating ability, such as coloring, reading, or writing.
Have the eye checked
Often, parents hear their children complain about those discomfort they are having related to their vision quality, but fail to provide those initial treatments. In fact, these initial treatments have a big impact in inhibiting this existing astigmatism from becoming worse. With any types of astigmatism complained by children, the initial treatment parents should perform is have their children’s eye tested. There are some things to be concerned about this eye testing, which include:
- Making sure to get children’s eyes tested and checked by the age of 6 months, even though at this age those symptoms of astigmatism may have not occurred yet.
- Performing another eye testing procedures when the child reaches the age of 3 years. At this age, children have actively used their motoric and visual systems, so that signs of irregularity can be observed.
- Making sure that toddlers get their examination from trusted eye practitioner instead of merely a vision check.
- Avoiding offense or excessive concerns when the child is given eyeglass prescription. This is going to be beneficial for improving the problem and thus, need to be obeyed.
Treatments for toddler astigmatism
In adults, corneal shape irregularity can be corrected with corrective procedure called LASIK. However, this procedure cannot be performed on toddlers. Hence, glasses or contact lenses are generally the most common treatments for astigmatism in toddlers. However, this can be difficult at first, as toddlers mostly do not favor any eye glasses and thus, may choose not to wear them, although they definitely have the blurry visions. Some things related to your toddler astigmatism-glasses treatment include:
- Make sure the glasses measurement is proper and gained from a professional eye practitioner.
- Encourage your children to wear the glasses, especially when they are involved in eye-focusing activities.
- Get the affected eye checked every 6 months or annually and change the glasses if refraction measurement changes occur.
There are some ways to motivate the children to wear and get attached to the eye glasses they require. You can perform these things consistently, so that the toddler astigmatism can be eventually treated.
- Involve your toddler in selecting their eyewear. Let them choose the frame according to their favorite color or shape. This will make them attached to the eyewear and motivate them to wear it consistently.
- Explain the benefits of the glasses to them and those changes they may experience when wearing them. Show them that their glasses enable them to do the activities they previously avoid better.
- Discuss the time to visit the eye doctor with the toddler. Do not make them come when they are tired.