Blindness In Kids – Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Written by Enozia Vakil • 

Playing a blindfold game with your kid may be fun, but that’s just for a short period of time. Our eyes are not just the windows to our soul, they help us see and understand the world that is. They are truly one of the most miraculous creations we are blessed with.

It can be a life changing experience when it comes to learning to live without sight. As a parent, you need to always assess your child’s visual capabilities. In the event that your kid does not seem to respond to light and moving objects, it could be a sign of childhood blindness.

Having a kid affected by this visual impairment can be a difficult experience, but as a parent, you are the one who needs to be strong and provide all the support and help to your child. This can only be done if you understand the condition properly. Things like why it occurs, how can one detect it, and some ways to handle it better can help you provide your child with the right kind of support and care that he needs.

Childhood Blindness – An Overview:

The eye is one of the many parts of the body that is carefully constructed using different delicate parts. These include iris, cornea, lens, retina and many more, all of which play an essential role in promoting proper vision. All these parts need to function harmoniously with each other for you to be able to see. A malfunctioning of any of these parts can cause partial or total blindness or other visual concerns.

A person who is visually impaired may have problems in both the eyes, or in a single eye.

Causes Of Blindness In Children:

There can be various causes for this condition. Some of the most commonly known are:

  1.  A lot of visual problems may develop before birth. In some cases, certain parts of the eye are not developed in the way they should, which causes vision problems.
  2. It has also been found that a kid’s eyes may look fine, but the brain may have trouble processing the information that is sent.
  3. In some cases, the optic nerve of the eye, which is concerned with sending pictures to the brain, doesn’t develop correctly or has some problems in functioning properly. This causes vision impairment.
  4. Blindness may be genetic or inherited. This means that if a particular member of your family is visually impaired your kid too may have a risk of developing the same disorder.
  5. Blindness may also occur due to certain accidents wherein a foreign object may hurt the eye. This is why it is important to protect the eye as much as possible.
  6. Certain illnesses such as diabetes may lead to complications with the eyes (diabetic retinopathy) which may cause visual disturbances. Eye diseases like cataracts may also cause partial or complete vision.

[ Read: Diabetes Symptoms in Children ]

Signs And Symptoms of Blindness:

Since your kid can’t express and explain his concerns properly, it can be difficult to detect and understand if your kid is affected by any visual problem.
Here we have listed some of the common signs of visual impairment your kid may show if he is affected by it.

  1. Pupils are unequal in size.
  2. Pupils appear white instead of black.
  3. Eyes don’t move when an object or face is moving in front of it.
  4. Crossed eyes.
  5. Eyes turn out or in.
  6. Eyes flutter from side to side or up and down.
  7. Eyes do not seem to focus.
  8. Eyes bulge or bounce in rhythmic movements.
  9. Clumsy behavior such as knocking things over or bumping into things.
  10. Repeated shutting or covering of one eye.
  11. Avoiding tasks that require good vision.
  12. Frequent squinting and blinking.
  13. Sitting too close to the TV, holding books too close to the face.
  14. Face crunching and eye rubbing.

Treatment For Blindness In Children:

Visual impairments are very common among children, and it is extremely important to detect the cause of it at an early stage. This will help to assess the possibility of a proper treatment option.
Here are a few things you should keep in mind:

  1. Make sure you take an appointment with an ophthalmologist if you do notice any of the above signs and symptoms affecting your kid. Also remember to get a routine check-up done to ensure proper progress and eye health.
  2. The doctor will usually ask you about the signs and symptoms you may have noticed, and will perform several eye tests to detect the problem.
  3. In certain eye problems, wearing glasses or contact lenses may help your kid in seeing better.
  4. Certain eye problems can be tackled by performing a surgery. In all cases, treatment of the eye problem totally depends on the cause.
  5. In some cases, children may suffer from vision problems due to nutritional deficiencies and following a healthy diet could help solve the problem.
  6. Cataract surgeries and certain forms of medications and eye drops could also be a treatment option for some children affected by treatable forms of visual impairment.

Raising A Visually Impaired Child:

Partial blindness may not be a major concern for most parents, and laser surgeries and glasses may help restore vision. In case of total blindness, the condition is practically untreatable and the cause of concern increases significantly.
As a parent, you may need to be strong and support your child through this condition. It is important to note that a visually impaired child develops correctly and has no problems in other areas of life – he just needs a little extra care, attention and your support.

[ Read: Eye Care Tips For Your Kids ]

Here we have listed down some common ways to handle this visual impairment in kids:

  1. Support your child through his tough times. Make him feel strong and confident of himself.
  2. Encourage him to learn Braille. This is a system of lettering for visually impaired kids. Help him ace it and get him some good books to encourage his learning experience.
  3. Some special classes and learning schools for blind kids are believed to be helpful. So make sure you enroll your kid in these to help him understand how to cope up with his situation and yield his best. You should ideally attend the same too to understand and help as required.
  4. Encourage him to excel in whatever he’s interested in. Every kid has a particular talent, and so does yours, so make sure he’s motivated and inspired enough.
  5. 5. Keep in touch with the new technological and medical advancements that may help your kid get back his sight. With new devices coming up, everything is possible now.

While it can be a major blow initially to learn about blindness of your child, you need to understand that your child will look up to you for all the support and assistance. Many parents end up feeling guilty about their child’s weak sight, and this can lead you to pity your child.

Remember, children who face visual challenge or any kind of disability do not need your pity. Helping them by staying in touch with specific support groups and giving them the ideal tools to assist their condition is all that is needed. And of course, lots of love and quality time is what will make life happier for them, and you!

We would like to know more about your experiences in dealing with such a situation.

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