Protecting Your Child’s Eyes: The Link Between Antidepressants and Eye Care

As parents, our top priority is to ensure the health and well-being of our children. In today’s world, where technology has become an integral part of daily lives, it is even more crucial to pay attention to our children’s eye care. According to the American Optometric Association, children should have their first eye exam at six months of age, followed by additional exams at age three, and right before they start school. This is to ensure the proper development and protection of their vision.

However, there are certain medications that could affect a child’s eye health, including antidepressants. Antidepressants are commonly prescribed to children and adolescents for the treatment of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. But did you know that some of these medications could have potential side effects on a child’s eyesight?

Antidepressants and Children’s Eye Health

Research has shown that certain antidepressants, specifically selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), could impact a child’s vision. SSRIs work by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain, which could impact the development and function of certain cells in the eyes.

Side Effects of Antidepressants on Children’s Eyesight

  • Blurred Vision
  • Dry Eyes
  • Sensitivity to Light
  • Mydriasis (Dilated Pupils)

Blurred vision is the most commonly reported side effect of SSRIs on a child’s eyesight. It could make it difficult for children to read, play, or even recognize familiar faces.

Dry eyes is another common side effect, which could cause discomfort, itching, and even affect visual acuity. Sensitivity to light is also a possible side effect, which could make it difficult for children to be outdoors or in brightly lit areas.

In rare cases, SSRIs could cause mydriasis, or dilated pupils. This could impact a child’s ability to see objects clearly and could also cause increased sensitivity to light.


While antidepressants could be beneficial for the treatment of mental health conditions in children and adolescents, it is important to be aware of the potential side effects on their eyesight. If your child is taking antidepressants, make sure to discuss any vision changes with their healthcare provider. Regular eye exams are also crucial for the proper development and protection of their vision.

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