Poor eyesight can make life harder for people at any age, but it can really take a toll on children's school performance and well-being, vision experts say.
If left untreated, certain eye-related conditions can lead to developmental delays, learning issues and vision loss, warned specialists from the National Center for Children's Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness.
"The good news is that many vision problems in children can be treated successfully if detected early," Hugh Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness, said in a news release from the organization. Prevent Blindness is the oldest nonprofit eye health and safety group in the United States.
Vision problems affect more than one in 20 preschoolers and one-quarter of school-aged children, the eye experts said.
The group urges parents and guardians to have children receive routine vision screening even if they aren't experiencing any vision problems. If children show any signs of eye trouble, they should undergo a comprehensive eye exam by an optometrist or an ophthalmologist.
Children usually don't complain about their vision, the group pointed out. But they might have nearsightedness (myopia), which is trouble seeing things at a distance. Kids could also have farsightedness (hyperopia), which is trouble seeing things at close range. There are also more serious eye conditions, including:
The American Academy of Ophthalmology has more about eye screening for children.
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