Seven red flag signs of eye health issues to spot in grandchildren

Vision Direct test people’s eyesight at Liverpool Airport

Khuram Sarwar, an optician at Feel Good Contacts, said children experiencing eyesight issues “may read slower than usual”.

Some children may refuse to read altogether as they struggle to read the words on the page.

If you notice your grandchild squinting a lot of the time, or tilting their head to see objects further away, they could have vision impairment.

Also, take the time to look at the colour of their pupil (the black hole located in the centre).

If there is a white or greyish colour in the pupil, Sarwar said it could be a sign of cataracts, corneal ulcers, or eye cancer.

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Sarwar said eyes that turn outwards, look crossed or don’t focus together could require a check-up.

“Please note that it is not uncommon for a baby of up to four months to have crossed eyes as at this stage; they are learning to control their eyes.”

Sarwar added: “Crossed eyes are usually a sign of strabismus (misaligned eyes) or amblyopia (lazy eye).

“This will affect the child’s visual acuity, particularly as the distance between objects and viewpoints change, for example, when doing sports and tracking a ball.”

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Children who have consistently watery eyes, or eyes that excrete puss, itch and look red may have an eye infection.

“You may notice that they rub their eyes frequently to relieve itchiness and irritation,” Sarwar added.

Seven signs of potential eye problems

  1. Difficulty reading
  2. Continuously squinting
  3. White or grey pupils
  4. Misaligned eyes
  5. Watery, red and itchy eyes
  6. Sensitive to light
  7. Fluttering eyes.

Sarwar said sensitivity to light “is could be a sign of many conditions, including cataracts and epilepsy”.

As for fluttering eyes, Sarwar explained: “This movement symptom will greatly affect a child’s hand-eye coordination, and they may have difficulty writing or playing sports.

“They will also have trouble keeping their eyes on one target, for instance, moving their eyes from one object to another or along the page to read.”

Sarwar is urging parents and carers to book an eye appointment for children before they start the new term in school.

With children heading back to school, any eye health issues that go undetected could affect their concentration and performance.

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