Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Eye Health Center

Font Size

Your Vision in Childhood

You've noticed your child squinting. Does he have a vision problem?

Squinting can be a sign of nearsightedness, or myopia, as your eye doctor would call it. Nearsightedness is just one of several common childhood vision problems.

One out of every 4 kids has trouble seeing clearly. Often, parents don't know there's a problem. That's why all children should get regular eye exams.

4 Clues for Childhood Vision Problems

  1. Your child's eyes cross or are not lined up with each other.
    The problem could be: Eyes that are not aligned (strabismus).
    What to do: Take your child to a pediatric ophthalmologist. The doctor may put a patch over the stronger eye to strengthen the weaker one, or prescribe special glasses or eye exercises.
  2. Your child has trouble seeing things that are far away.
    The problem could be: Nearsightedness, or myopia.
    What to do: Have your child's vision checked. Eyeglasses or contact lenses can improve distance vision.
  3. Your child has trouble seeing things that are close up.
    The problem could be: Farsightedness, or hyperopia.
    What to do: Eyeglasses or contact lenses can improve close-up vision.
  4. Your child has blurry vision.
    The problem could be: Your child's cornea (part of the eye) may be curved and can't focus on images clearly. That's called astigmatism.
    What to do: Take your child for an eye exam to see if eyeglasses would help.

Other eye issues seen in kids include "lazy eye," which doctors call amblyopia. It often has no symptoms. It can be found during a regular eye exam, and can usually be corrected (or improved) if it's found and treated early enough. Depending on the cause, treatment may include an eye patch on the stronger eye, eyeglasses, or surgery in rare cases.

Rarer vision problems in kids include:

  • Glaucoma: A group of diseases that damage the eye’s main nerve. It's most common later in life, though some children are born with glaucoma or develop it.
  • Cataract: These cloud the lens of the eye. Cataracts are most common in older adults. Some children are born with cataracts or get them from diabetes or childhood diseases.
  • Retinoblastoma: A rare cancer of the retina.

Today on WebMD

Woman holding tissue to reddened eye
Learn about causes, symptoms, and treatments.
Simple annoyance or the sign of a problem?
red eyes
Symptoms, triggers, and treatments.
blue eye with contact lens
Tips for wearing and caring.
Understanding Stye
human eye
eye exam timing
vision test
is vision correction surgery for you
high tech contacts
eye drop