Child's eyes are very different from that of adults as it takes around ten years for the eyes to mature and see finer details completely. Therefore, the way a child's eye reacts to the treatment, the way of examining, and the way of treating - all are different, specialized, and children friendly.
For proper development of children , good vision and eye health are very important . Many of us may not know many truths about Eyecare for children.
About 20-30% of the normal school going children have some kind of refractory error (glass number).The common problems in children are:
- Glass number
- Amblyopia or Lazy Eye
BE ALERT FOR SIGNS OF EYE PROBLEMS
Parents must watch for signs of eye trouble because children don't always know they are having problems.
|APPEARANCE OF EYES||BEHAVIOUR||COMPLAINTS|
|Have ur child’s eyes checked if they are:
||Take notice if your child:
||Get help if ur child complaints of:
Refractive errors:Children with weak vision are treated through eye exercises, glasses, and eye drops.
Amblyopia or lazy eye:Amblyopia is reduced vision in an anatomically normal eye. The term "Lazy eye" is used to describe it. This condition happens when visual function of one eye is underdeveloped. This could be successfully treated in early childhood as complications increase with age. It is difficult to identify a child suffering from amblyopia unless there is obvious misalignment. A thorough examination done by a specialist can help in analyzing this problem
Pediatric strabismus or squint:This condition can be identified when your child's eyes point in different directions. If it is not treated on time, it could lead to double vision, eye strain, discomfort and headache. Minor cases can be treated through patching and glasses. Again, this problem is best treated in early childhood.
Congenital eye diseases:These include congenital cataract, Ptosis or drooping of eye lids, congenital nasolacrimal duct blockage (or NLD blockage) which results in watering of eyes. Newborns and younger infants commonly have some matting in their eyes and may have a lot of tearing; this could be because of blocked tear duct.
Cataract:About 50 percent of cases are inherited from one parent who might have no symptoms or who might have had surgery for a similar problem in infancy, childhood, or early adulthood. Trauma is the next most common cause of cataracts. Both blunt and penetrating injuries to the eyes can disrupt the integrity of the lens and lead to its clouding. A large number of systemic (whole-body) metabolic, inflammatory, and infectious diseases can also lead to cataracts. And finally, the chronic use of some medicines - such as steroids - might also produce clouding of the lens
Other types of diseases include retinopathy of prematurity, retinoblastoma, pediatric glaucoma.
What causes Amblyopia?Amblyopia is caused by any condition that affects normal use of the eyes and visual development. In many cases, the conditions associated with amblyopia may be inherited. Amblyopia has three major causes:
Strabismus (Misaligned Eyes)Amblyopia occurs most commonly with misaligned or crossed eyes. The crossed eye "turns off" to avoid double vision, and the child uses only the better eye. The misaligned eye then fails to develop good vision.
Refractive ErrorRefractive errors are eye conditions that are corrected by wearing glasses. Amblyopia occurs when one eye is out of focus because it is more nearsighted, farsighted or astigmatic than the other.
The unfocused (blurred) eye "turns off" and becomes amblyopic. The eyes can look normal, but one eye has poor vision. This is the most difficult type of amblyopia to detect since the child appears to have normal vision when both eyes are open. Amblyopia also can occur in both eyes if both eyes have very blurred vision. This can happen when there is a high amount of nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism.
Cloudiness in the Normally Clear Eye TissuesAn eye disease such as a cataract (a clouding of the eye's naturally clear lens) may lead to amblyopia. Any factor that prevents a clear image from being focused inside the eye can lead to the development of amblyopia in a child. This is often the most severe form of amblyopia. Severe ptosis can also leads to amblyopia.
How is Amblyopia diagnosed?Amblyopia is detected by finding a difference in vision between the two eyes or poor vision in both eyes. Since it is difficult to measure vision in young children, our ophthalmologist often estimates visual acuity by watching how well a baby follows objects with one eye when the other eye is covered.
Using a variety of tests, our ophthalmologist observes the reactions of the baby when one eye is covered. If one eye is amblyopic and the good eye is covered, the baby may attempt to look around the patch, try to pull it off or cry.
Poor vision in one eye does not always mean that a child has amblyopia. Vision can often be improved by prescribing glasses for a child.
How is Amblyopia treated?
Optical correction:First step in management of Amblyopia is to correct refractive errors(numbers).
Occlusion Therapy:To correct amblyopia, a child must be made to use the weak eye. This is usually done by patching or covering the strong eye, often for weeks or months. Even after vision has been restored in the weak eye, part-time patching may be required over a period of years to maintain the improvement. Glasses may be prescribed to correct errors in focusing. If glasses alone do not improve vision, then patching is necessary.
Stimulation to affected eye can be given by using CAM STIMULATOR which is there in DIVA EYE INSTITUTE.
Amblyopia also may be treated by blurring the vision in the good eye with special eyedrops or lenses to force the child to use the amblyopic eye.
Amblyopia usually is treated before surgery to correct misaligned eyes, and patching is often continued after surgery as well.
Orthoptics:We have synoptophore instrument at our Institute. This instrument is helpful in treating Amblopia by giving anti suppression therapy to the affected eye, also Haidinger brushes excersise for stimulating vision in the amblyopic eye.
Surgery:If the ophthalmologist finds a cataract or other abnormality, surgery may be required to correct the problem. An intraocular lens may be implanted. After surgery, glasses or contact lenses can be used to restore focusing while patching improves vision.
If the problem is detected and treated early, vision can improve for most children. Amblyopia caused by strabismus or unequal refractive errors may be treated successfully during the first nine years of age. After this time, amblyopia usually does not recur.
What happens if it is left untreated?Amblyopia patients should ideally be treated before the age of eight or nine. If amblyopia is not treated, several problems may occur:
- The amblyopic eye may develop a serious and permanent visual defect
- Depth perception (seeing in three dimensions) may be lost
- If the good eye becomes diseased or injured, a lifetime of poor vision may be the result. It is a proven fact that the injuries are more common to the healthy eye in such people.
- Regular follow-up visits are a must.
Strabismus is a common condition among children. It also can occur later in life and can occur equally in males and females. Strabismus may run in families; however, many people with strabismus have no relatives with the problem
What are the signs of strabismus?The main sign of strabismus is an eye that is not straight. Sometimes children will squint one eye in bright sunlight or tilt their head to use their eyes together.
What are the different types of strabismus?There are three common types of strabismus:
* Esotropia (in-turning of the eyes): This is often referred to as crossed eyes or a squint.
* Exotropia (out-turning eyes): This is also known as walleye or divergent eyes.
* Hypertropia (vertical strabismus): The eyes are out of alignment vertically.
What are the treatment options for strabismus?
OPTICS: (SPECTACLES)To correct any refractive error (numbers)
Occlusion Therapy:Patching the good eye to encourage the weaker eye to be used. This is usually done under the supervision of an orthoptist.
Orthoptics:We have synoptophore instrument at our Institute. This is mainly used for assessment of squint and also for management of squint in early cases. (latent squint)
Surgery:This is used with congenital squints, together with other forms of treatment in older children, if needed. Surgery can be performed as early as a few months of age.
When strabismus surgery is performed on children, a general anesthetic is required. Recovery time is rapid. Children are usually able to resume their normal activities within a few days.
After surgery, glasses may still be required. In some cases, more than one surgery may be needed to keep the eyes straight.