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COMMON EYE PROBLEMS IN CHILDREN
Refractive error or the need for glasses is the most important cause of vision impairment in children. This may lead to permanent deficiency in vision if not detected and treated in time
Squint, also known as cross eyes, is the condition where the eyes do not work together. Squint is to be operated at the earliest (even before two years). Treatment includes glasses, eye exercises or eye muscle surgery.
AMBLYOPIA (LAZY EYE)
Amblyopia or Lazy eye is the term for poor vision in one or both eyes. It can result from refractive error, squint or other causes. This needs to be identified and treated at an early age to regain vision.
RETINOPATHY OF PREMATURITY (ROP)
Infants born prematurely (not full term) with or without low birth weight or short for date babies (SFD) are at high risk of developing Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) which may lead to permanent blindness.
These babies requires frequent screening, examination and treatment which can prevent from the future complications.
The WHO working definition of Low Vision (WHO, 1992) is as follows:
“ A person with low vision is one who has visual acuity of less than 6/18 to light perception or a visual field of less than 10 degrees from the point of fixation.”
Cataract (opacification of the lens) can also occur in children. This might present at birth or develop later in life. A trauma in childhood can also cause cataract. Earliest surgery with IOL implantation can give full vision to the child.
Children with allergic conjunctivitis can have watering / irritation, redness, frequent rubbing of eyes. They can be treated effectively with eye drops.