Kids eye health
The myopia epidemic
Myopia, also called ‘short-sighted’ can developed during childhood, adolescence or adulthood and can be caused by a variety of factors including genetics, too much near work, under or overcorrected vision or not enough time outdoors.
Younger onset of myopia is critical for its progression as kids’ eyes are growing at a faster rate. Myopia in kids tends to progress throughout childhood and higher levels of myopia are associated with increased risks of eye problems in adulthood such as retinal detachment, myopic macular degeneration, cataract and glaucoma.
Strabismus, also known as crossed eyes or squint, is a condition in which the eyes do not align properly. It is caused by misalignment of the extraocular muscles, which control the movement of the eyes. One eye may look straight ahead while the other eye turns in, out, up, or down. The misalignment can shift from one eye to the other. The most common symptom of strabismus is the inability to focus both eyes on the same object at the same time.
When one eye is out of alignment, two different pictures are sent to the brain. In a young child, the brain learns to ignore the image of the misaligned eye. Instead, it sees only the image from the straight or better-seeing eye. As a result, depth perception may be affected.
Adults who develop strabismus after childhood often have double vision. This is because their brains have already learned to receive images from both eyes. Their brains cannot ignore the image from the turned eye, so they see two images.
Strabismus can be caused by a number of factors, including genetic predisposition, trauma, or a neurological disorder. Treatment depends on the underlying cause and can include corrective lenses, patching, eye exercises, and surgery.
Amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, is a vision development disorder in which the vision of one eye is weaker than the vision of the other eye. If the amblyopia is treated while the child is young and the eyes are still developing, there are good chances of overcoming the problem. The goal of treatment is to make the child’s brain use both eyes. Early treatment is best; and treatment may not work at all if started after 7-10 years of age. The main causes of amblyopia are; strabismus, refractive error and conditions that cause poor vision in one eye. Early diagnosis of amblyopia is essential for vision to develop normally.