Does Your Child Have Lazy Eye?

girl with glasses smiling at camera up close

Raising children is a joy, but when you’re concerned that your child has a medical problem, it can be stressful, as well. If you’re concerned that your child has lazy eye, you might not need to be as concerned as you think. Make an appointment to see the ophthalmologist so that you can obtain a proper diagnosis. Between now and your appointment, you will likely still have some questions. The following information should help you prepare for your initial appointment, give you information about what to expect, and discuss lazy eye a bit further.

Preparation
In preparation for your child’s doctor’s appointment, be sure to write down a list of all of the symptoms you have noticed and/or your child has been experiencing. Also, you’ll want to list your child’s medical conditions, treatments he or she has recently had, any past surgeries, and all current medication including vitamins and supplements. It might also be helpful to include a list of your child’s daily activities, such as any sports he or she engages in. Include all medical information and a complete medical history, not just ophthalmological issues. Bring any medical and insurance cards you have for your child to the appointment, as well. If your child currently wears any contact lenses or glasses, bring the current prescription. If you use an online site for ordering contact lenses, you can track your order history to obtain the accurate prescription information.

Questions to Ask
When you arrive at the appointment, you’ll likely have many of your own questions to ask the doctor. But be sure to ask some crucial questions that often get overlooked, as well, such as whether or not your child has lazy eye, what else it could be if lazy eye is not the issue, the cause of your child’s current condition, what treatment options are available, what the prognosis is, and how likely it is that the condition will reappear. Asking critical questions about lazy eye, or whatever condition your child’s doctor diagnosis, can help you prepare and plan for the future.

Common Medical Tests
Depending on your child’s age, there are common tests your child’s doctor will run to determine whether or not lazy eye is present. In newborns, eye doctors will typically use a red reflex test, which tests for cataracts in the eye. He or she may also use a magnifying tool with a light on the end of it to see various aspects of your child’s eyes. Infants are usually tested using the red reflex test, a fixed gaze test, and a test to see whether or not your child will follow a moving object with his or her eyes.

What the Doctor is Looking For
During these tests, the doctor is looking for a wandering eye, differences in vision between the two eyes, poor quality of vision in both eyes, and other similar indicators that lazy eye may be the problem. Sometimes, your child’s visual problems may stem from simply having poor vision, in which case corrective lenses may be prescribed. But if your child is determined to have lazy eye, there are usually treatment options and solutions available.

Be prepared when you go to visit your doctor, and be sure to bring as much information as you can about your child’s current medical condition. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions; that is what the doctor is there for. Most of all, though, try not to worry too much before the appointment. Technology and the medical industry has come a long way, and most eye conditions are treatable.

Simon Walters is a pediatric optical researcher. He often writes about maladies and vision concerns in children. Visit the NextDayLenses website for more information about child eyesight health.

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