About 20-30% of the normal school going children have some kind of Refractive Error (glass numbers). The common problems in children are:
- Glass number
- Amblyopia or Lazy Eye
We recommend that pre school children receive a complete eye examination at the age of five years or earlier if any problem is noticed. If you answer “Yes” or ” Sometimes ” to four or more of the following questions, your child may have a visual problem.
Does your child :
- Holds object very close to their eyes?
- Excessively rub their eyes, blink or squint after close visual work?
- Complain of headaches after reading?
- Becomes tired after reading?
- Have difficulty comprehending what they have read?
- Complain of headaches or eyestrain?
- Have red or watery eyes (which could also be a sign of allergies).
- Performs below expected levels in school?
- Have a short attention span or difficulty staying on task?
- Have an eye that turns in or out?
- Complaints of blurred vision with schoolwork or reading?
- Have difficulty copying from a textbook or chalkboard?
- Avoids reading? Or goes very near to the TV while watching programmes.
Squint (Crossed Eyes) or Strabismus
Affects approximately 4 out of every 100 children. It is a condition in which the two eyes point in different directions. One eye may turn either in, or out while the other eye aims straight ahead. Due to this condition, both eyes do not always aim simultaneously at the same object. This results in a partial or total loss of stereo vision and binocular depth perception. The eye turns may be visible at all times or may come and go. In some cases, the eye misalignments are not obvious to the untrained observer.
How is Squint diagnosed?
Strabismus can be diagnosed during an eye exam. It is recommended that all children have their vision checked by their pediatrician, family doctor or ophthalmologist (eye doctor) at or before their fourth birthday.
How is Squint treated?
Treatment for strabismus works to:
- Preserve vision
- Straighten the eyes
- Restore binocular (two-eyed) vision
After a complete eye examination, an ophthalmologist can recommend appropriate Squint eye treatment.
Squint can be treated by eyeglasses in some cases or it may require Squint surgery.
Covering or patching the strong eye to improve the lazy eye (amblyopic eye) may be necessary.
Most common types of strabismus :
- Esotropia – Esotropia is where the eye turns inward, is the most common type of strabismus in infants.
- Exotropia – Exotropia is an outward turning of the eye, is another common type of strabismus. This occurs most often when a child is focusing on distant objects.
Children having glasses should undergo eye checkups every 6 months till their glass number stabilizes and then once every month. Or for other eye treatments when advised by the Eye care specialist.