Sight Problems faced by children

Sight Problems faced by children
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Highlights

Children are born with about +2.5 dioptres of power (Hyperopia or long-sightedness). In the first few years of age (mostly in first three years) as the eye ball grows, the plus power reduces and reaches almost zero by 12 years. 

Children are born with about +2.5 dioptres of power (Hyperopia or long-sightedness). In the first few years of age (mostly in first three years) as the eye ball grows, the plus power reduces and reaches almost zero by 12 years.

If the eye ball is smaller than normal, then the child will have plus power. This may manifest as squint. Any squint in the child should not be ignored and have the ophthalmologist/paediatric ophthalmologist checked up for high refractive error.

Astigmatism is that kind of error where point focus of image cannot be obtained. Astigmatism can start very early in age because of the difference in curvature of two axis of cornea by birth.

Lazy eye is that condition of the eye where brain ignores to see beyond eight or nine years of age and vision will be sub-optimal for the rest of the life. Hence it is important to have all errors (hyperopia, myopia or astigmatism) corrected at a very early age to prevent lazy eye from developing.

Treatment of myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism in children is by spectacles. Rarely, only one eye may have high error and in this situation contact lens or LASIK surgery may be considered. Otherwise surgery for all refractive errors is usually considered after 18 years of age.

After wearing spectacles, if the vision is not fully developed, then occlusion therapy is suggested. In that therapy one eye is occluded for few hours in the evening every day (based on the age of the child) so that the other eye works better to develop more vision.

Lid margin disease (Blepharitis):
These kids have irritation and itching on the lid margins. On examination scales will also be seen. Cleaning with commercially available wipes or with diluted Johnson baby shampoo twice a day with antibiotic ointment twice a day for few weeks is the treatment.

Nasolacrimal duct obstruction:
Some kids particularly within six months of age can have watering and discharge of one or both eyes. Normally it takes about six months for the nasolacrimal duct (the duct draining the tears into nose). If the duct is not open beyond this, sac massage to open up the duct about 4-5 times a day along with cleaning the eyes and antibiotic drops are suggested.

If the duct fails to open beyond one year of age, intervention like probing the duct under short general anaesthesia is suggested. If duct fails to open with repeated probing, then surgery like dacryocystorhinostomy is advised.

Also Read:

Food for Good Eye sight

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