In the United States, routine eye examinations are part of pediatric visits for most babies and children. Because most vision problems develop incrementally over time, parents should be on the lookout for any changes to their child’s vision that may include the appearance of the eyes, double vision, redness, swelling, excessive eye rubbing, misalignment of the eyes, frequent blinking, headaches, sitting close to the television, holding books or reading material close to the face and holding a hand over one eye. If you suspect your child may have an eye health or vision problem, contact a pediatric eye doctor. 

Common vision problems can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, visual therapies or surgery. Causes of vision loss in children include eye issues that are present at birth such as congenital cataracts, eye problems that develop in childhood such as amblyopia, or lazy eye, medical conditions that affect the eye such as diabetes or a rare form of eye cancer known as retinoblastoma, or an injury to the eye or head. Trauma, such as an open globe injury, hyphema or corneal injury, is the most common cause of sudden loss of vision in children. Another cause for temporary vision loss in children is a detached retina. Retinal detachment can be brought on by severe myopia or retinopathy of prematurity. Severely thin retinas can cause the retina to detach and suddenly cause temporary vision loss in children. Detached retinas are emergencies and require the intervention of an eye doctor right away to prevent permanent vision loss. 

Damage to the occipital lobe can cause vision loss and is commonly associated with a stroke. The occipital lobe is the portion of the brain responsible for interpreting signals relayed from optic nerves. Underlying health conditions could be responsible for causing a stroke and in many cases would not be detected until a severe sign or symptom such as abrupt blindness, show up … however, these cases are considered rare. Most likely causes for temporary vision loss in children will be associated with hemorrhaging of the vitreous, retinal detachment or eye injury. Immediate treatment of the first two causes will likely restore vision and prevent any further vision loss. The outcome of whether vision loss is temporary and what solutions can restore vision will be determined on the severity and complication of the injury and treatment options available. 

Sudden vision loss is a medical emergency. Do not wait to be seen by a medical professional. For non-emergency eye evaluations, contact Pendleton Eye at 760-758-2008. For more information visit, WEBSITE.