Preschoolers with vision problems in India is heartbreakingly common.
The problem is a bigger one than adult myopia because they are unable to tell us.
The symptoms of childhood nearsightedness: When will you suspect?
- Sitting close to the television is classic
- A frequent headache.
- Head tilting to a side.
- Performance not up to the mark in school.
- Silly mistakes in the classroom.
- The child is inattentive in class.
- Rubs eyes a lot.
- Appears to daydream.
- Behavioral issues as a secondary result
Now, what is nearsightedness or Myopia?
When the image of the object occurs in front of the retina and not on the retina, the object appears fuzzy
Suspected reasons for myopia or nearsightedness
Nutrition, growth spurts, heredity, childhood diabetes all may be responsible for myopia.Excessive computer use, total screen time lack of outdoor activity all can be responsible for childhood eye problem.
The child may need her vision assessed every 3 months as growth is associated with changes in power.
Your child has no idea about how things should look.so this condition often goes undetected.After a complete checkup by a doctor get eyeglasses .This is perfect for children to correct myopia.Myopia correction is classically undercorrected and not overcorrected.
Things you should remember if you suspect your child has a vision problem
- Do not delay
- Believe the child
- Go to a qualified specialist
- Always review refraction periodically.
- Don’t scold the child.
- Don’t make him/ her feel self-conscious.
- If you do wear glasses do not forget to wear them always or the child will not adjust well.
- Do not blame yourself.
- Blood work may be needed to rule out any underlying condition like diabetes.In adults, obesity and diabetes are major reasons for fluctuating myopia.
When do children need urgent review by an eye specialist
One or both eyes are abnormal in size.Small or large
One or both eyes appear to stick out
There is a red mark on the eyelid
One or both eyes are obviously abnormal, white in all parts
How to assess vision preliminarily in young child 0 to 1 year?
- How does the baby see the things around him /her?
- Does she /he make eye contact?
- Does your baby follow mother with eyes?
- Does baby respond to raised eyebrows?
You must remember
- As much as 80 percent of childhood learning is vision based.
- Reading difficulties and learning disabilities may have an undiagnosed eye problem as the underlying reason.
- It is difficult to diagnose vision problem in young children.
- Studies show a higher prevelance of refractive error in school children in urban areas as compared to rural areas.
A correlation has been found with outdoor activity and myopiaIt is said even as little as one hour per day outdoor playtime can decrease the chance of developing myopia.But whether it has any role in progrssion is yet to be determined.
Myopia is a serious problem and by 2050 half of the worlds population are projected to face this problem.If you don’t take care of good eye health now how will you help the next generation?
Take care of your diet, exercise and spend more time with nature, decrease screen time, blink frequently and you have a good chance of beating the odds.
Disclaimer: This is meant for awareness and is not meant as professional medical advice.Kindly consult your doctor for a personalized opinion.Read my full disclaimer.
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