Blurred Vision in Children

Blurred Vision in Children

Having blurred vision means that your child cannot see things clearly. Your child’s vision may seem fuzzy or out of focus. It can involve your child’s vision for objects that are close or far away.

It may affect one or both eyes. There are many causes of blurred vision in children, including eye inflammation (uveitis) and diabetic retinopathy.

In many cases, blurred vision has to do with the shape of your child’s eye. An abnormal eye shape means that your child cannot focus well (refractive error). When this happens, it can cause:

  • Faraway objects to look blurry (nearsightedness).
  • Close objects to look blurry (farsightedness).
  • Blurry vision at any distance (astigmatism).

Refractive errors are often corrected with glasses or contacts.

Blurred vision can be diagnosed based on your child’s symptoms and a physical exam. Tell your child’s health care provider about any other health problems your child has, any recent eye injury, and any prior surgeries. Your child may need to see a health care provider who specializes in eye problems (ophthalmologist). Your child’s treatment will depend on what is causing his or her blurred vision.

Follow these instructions at home:

  • Keep all follow-up visits as told by your child’s health care provider. This is important. These include any visits to your child’s eye specialists.
  • Have your child use eye drops only as told by your child’s health care provider.
  • If your child was prescribed glasses or contact lenses, have your child wear the glasses or contacts as told by your child’s health care provider.
  • Schedule eye exams regularly for your child.
  • Pay attention to any changes in your child’s symptoms.
  • If your child is old enough to drive, do notlet your child drive or use heavy machinery if his or her vision is blurry.

Contact a health care provider if:

  • Your child’s symptoms do not improve or they get worse.
  • Your child has:
    • New symptoms.
    • A headache.
    • Trouble seeing at night.
    • Trouble noticing the difference between colors.
    • Drooping eyelids.
    • Drainage coming from her or his eyes.
    • A rash around his or her eyes.

Get help right away if:

  • Your child has:
    • Severe eye pain.
    • A severe headache.
    • A sudden change in vision.
    • A sudden loss of vision.
    • A vision change after an injury.
  • Your child sees flashing lights in his or her field of vision. Your child’s field of vision is the area that he or she can see without moving his or her eyes.

Summary

  • Having blurred vision means that your child cannot see things clearly. Your child’s vision may seem fuzzy or out of focus.
  • There are many causes of blurred vision in children. In many cases, blurred vision has to do with an abnormal eye shape (refractive error), and it can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses.
  • Pay attention to any changes in your child’s symptoms. Contact a health care provider if your child’s symptoms do not improve or if he or she has any new symptoms.
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