A CLEAR VIEW OF CHILDREN’S EYE CARE

drkmh A CLEAR VIEW OF CHILDREN’S EYE CARE

 

It is always best to get an eye test done for children, once every two years. In fact it is advisable to do the first eye test when they are just six months old

Eye care for kids and for grown-ups varies drastically. Vision being a subjective issue, it’s not easy to spot mild disturbances in the child, who is not likely to even sense anything wrong until the problem is glaring. This means the primary caregiver must be as observant as possible, and consult the doctor when even the slightest doubt arises.

 

Signs that indicate your child might be having vision trouble:

 

  • Frequent rubbing of eyes
  • Unnaturally higher rate of blinking
  • Tilting head to one side while trying to focus
  • Short attention span
  • Refusal to read
  • Holding reading material too close to the face
  • Covering one or both eyes
  • Frequent headaches
  • Complaints of Double Vision
  • Poorer response or no participation in close-distance activities

 

All of these are Red Flag symptoms, which means an immediate consult with a Paediatric Ophthalmologist is imperative. Do not write them off as being part of the child’s growth and development – on the contrary issues with children’s eye health can slow down the overall development of your child. Early detection of eye problems gives the child a good chance at a 100% cure, given that the eye muscles are still developing and can be nudged to do so in a healthy direction.

 

And even if your child has no visible eye trouble, it is always best to get an eye test done once every two years. In fact, it is advisable to do an eye test when they are just six months old. The ophthalmologist checks the infant’s eyes to make sure that they are on a healthy developmental route. If your child does not show any signs of vision trouble, the next consultation with the ophthalmologist must be at the age of 3, and once every two years after that. However, if your child’s eyes need extra-care the doctor will suggest more frequent visits.

 

VISION SKILLS FOR INFANTS

 

For the first two years, it’s all about acquiring and mastering limb-eye coordination. It’s not just about grabbing things that come in focus, but it’s important even in helping the child creep, crawl and eventually walk and run. The infant learns to focus on things closer to him, and then gradually things in the background come into focus. Babies’ depth of perception improves after the 5th month, and keeps getting better thereof – this is extremely important when it comes to helping the child understand the world around him. And eventually when he becomes mobile, depth of perception will provide the 3D vision that will help him navigate through obstacles to reach his goal. Another ability that slowly sets in is recognition of familiar faces and objects in his immediate environment.

 

VISION SKILLS FOR SCHOOL-GOERS

 

Once your child is off to school reading from the textbook, making notes from the chalkboard, writing, playing sport, participating in lab activities and working on a computer are key tasks that he will be performing from kindergarten to grade 12. Having good vision is absolutely needed to excel in development activities. This requires the child to acquire the following vision skills:

 

  • The ability to change focus as distance of objects change
  • The ability to track an object that is on the move
  • Visual Acuity is what will ensure the child can see clearly what’s been written on the board.
  • Perfect depth of perception
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • The ability to recognise and tell the difference between letters especially mirror image letters such as d and b
  • Improved retention
  • The ability to picture whatever is being learnt in his mind, even when visuals are absent

 

COMMON CHILDREN’S EYE DISEASES

 

MYOPIA

 

This is a condition where objects that are nearer are clearer, and those away are blurry or not in focus. This condition usually develops after the age of 7, however, if you notice your child holding books too close to his face while reading, it’s best to get tested even if he is younger than 7.

 

HYPERMETROPIA

 

In this condition objects in the distance are clear and those close aren’t. Children with farsightedness may have difficulty in reading and may experience frequent headaches.

 

ASTIGMATISM

 

Blurred vision is the most common symptom. The child will be unable to have a clear vision of things near and far. Astigmatism is a part of development and is common up until the age of 3. However, as the eye muscles strengthen and the child grows up, astigmatism decreases and visual acuity is achieved. If astigmatism persists, it is necessary to consult a doctor.

 

STRABISMUS

 

Commonly called a Squint Eye, strabismus can affect an infant even before 6 months of age – this is infantile esotropia. Accommodative esotropia typically has an onset of 2–3 years of age, but can develop before 6 months of age. Early detection of strabismus can be treated and cured with eye exercises(and surgery only if necessary).

 

AMBLYOPIA

 

When one eye does not achieve visual acuity, resulting in a misalignment that affects only that eye, the condition is called Amblyopia or Lazy Eye. While the condition is treatable in children and adults through corrective surgery, if it is detected and diagnosed at a younger age the success rate is higher because during the infantile and preschool years the visual system demonstrates greatest plasticity.

 

Good nutrition, optimal usage of gadgets(mobile phone, Play Station, Television), 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night, reading and writing in a well-lit environment and regular visits to the ophthalmologist, will help keep your child’s eyes healthy. The Ophthalmology Department at Dr KMH is well equipped to handle every simple and critical procedure, in order to ensure your child’s vision is pristine. It is the best child care hospital to cater to all your queries regarding the growth and development of your child. Most eye problems can be completely cured when detected at a young age, so do not overlook the next appointment with the ophthalmologist.

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