Astigmatism may sound intimidating, but it's actually common even in infants and young children. To help you navigate pediatric astigmatism with less worry, you should know the important information about the condition.
While astigmatism is caused by the abnormal curvature of the eye's cornea or lens, which makes a person’s vision blurry or warped, there is no specific cause behind the abnormality itself. As children typically can't vocalize their vision problems, it's important to keep an eye out for signs like eye rubbing, squinting, sensitivity to light, and sitting too close to their book or gadget.
There are several factors that increases the likelihood of an infant or young child to develop astigmatism, such as:
Family history. If astigmatism and other eye issues run in your family, your child is more likely to develop it too.
Maternal smoking. Studies have shown that children whose mother smoked during pregnancy are more likely to develop astigmatism.
Refractive errors. A child suffering from other refractive errors like farsightedness (hyperopia) or nearsightedness (myopia) has a high chance of developing astigmatism as well.
Ethnicity. A study done on preschool children with astigmatism found that kids from African-American, Asian, and Hispanic descent were at higher risk of having astigmatism than children from other ethnicities.
Astigmatism in children usually resolves on its own, but parents should not completely rely on this. When the condition becomes severe, it can lead to amblyopia or lazy eye, and this can threaten a child’s vision if not given proper treatment.
If your child is showing symptoms of astigmatism or is at high risk of developing it, bring them to an eye doctor immediately to keep the condition from worsening.
To schedule an appointment with a pediatric eye doctor, give us a call at (0966) 9501-464 or visit us at level C, Williams Center, Williams St., corner Mayflower St., Greenfield District, Mandaluyong City.