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Eye Diseases and Visual Defects in Children

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Sight is essential in learning about life. In case of school difficulties, don’t forget that your child may see badly, even if he saw well when he was very young…

According to JLR Eye Hospital, only early visual screening in very young children can reduce the risk of developing visual disturbances such as amblyopia, strabismus, etc.

Visual defects to control in children:

Ocular pathologies to be screened for in children:

Amblyopia

It’s when your baby can’t see well, most often in one eye: this is called functional amblyopia.

Functional amblyopia: from the Greek “weak sight”, is a serious insufficiency of the visual acuity of an eye by non-stimulation of a visual pathway in childhood.

Organic amblyopia concerns both eyes, it is linked to an organic lesion of the eye.

It is essential to detect amblyopia quickly, from an early age. After the age of 3, it will be much more complicated to be able to rehabilitate her.

Beyond 5 years, amblyopia sets in, and recovery is partial. After 7 years, the situation is final… In this case, be sure to support your child in his schooling, he must learn to overcome this visual “handicap” so that he does not experience it as a “handicap”.

Strabismus

Strabismus is characterized by an eye that deviates permanently or from time to time: the visual axes of the eyes are not directed towards the same point of observation.

Strabismus is said to be “convergent” if the deviation is towards the nose, “divergent” if it is towards the temple, and “vertical” if it is upwards or downwards.

It can be glaring and requires quick consultation, especially if it is constant.

But the deviation of the eye is not necessarily visible to the naked eye! Only a doctor can detect this anomaly. Also, preventive visits are always recommended.

During the first 4 months of the child’s life, if your child “squints” but not permanently, it’s not abnormal: his muscles coordinate.

Beyond the 4th month, the appearance of strabismus is abnormal: imperatively consult an ophthalmologist.

Be particularly vigilant in case of family history, or premature birth.

The Nystagmus

This is when both of your child’s eyes twitch in a sustained, involuntary way. The importance of nystagmus is proportional to the quality of vision. If the vision is bad, nystagmus is important.

A distinction is made between motor nystagmus, linked to muscular or neurological damage, and sensory nystagmus, a form of functional response to poor vision.

It happens that these tremors decrease in a certain position of the glance and a particular posture of the head. In the presence of motor nystagmus, they can be treated surgically.

Myopia

Your child sees a blurry vision from afar, he favours close vision, sometimes abnormally close.

Myopia can appear at any school age, it tends to increase over time.

Myopia is often hereditary, it can also be progressive and classified as “high myopia” from 6 diopters, it is then essential to consult your ophthalmologist regularly. He will do an eye fundus examination, essential to prevent and detect any fragility of the retina due to the too elongated shape of the eye: risk of retinal detachment.

Astigmatism

Your child sees blurry and distorted. This loss of sharpness applies to both far and near vision. This visual defect makes him confuse letters like F and P, or H and M…

Astigmatism is very embarrassing for learning the alphabet.

Significant astigmatism can lead to functional amblyopia.

Hypermetropia

Farsightedness cannot be “seen” because the child has a very great accommodation capacity, that is to say, for focusing, but it is the main cause of strabismus.

Concretely, your child sees well from afar, but he must make an accommodation effort beyond the norm in close vision. If this farsightedness is significant, your child will experience abnormal visual fatigue, headaches, tearing and he risks strabismus…

Colourblindness

Your child has difficulty distinguishing certain colours such as red, green, and blue (very rare). The colour blind person does not confuse red and green as the general public might imagine, but their overall vision is made up of shades of yellow and blue. Visual acuity is not affected. Only a colour vision test performed by your ophthalmologist can detect this visual defect.

Screening is very useful to accompany and understand the colour-blind child, this lack of vision is embarrassing in kindergarten. There is no solution, the colour blind adapts to this particularity to live quite normally. Students should be well informed during their professional orientation because some jobs require good colour vision.

Retinitis Pigmenta

This disease of the retina is genetic with serious impacts on vision, which can gradually lead to blindness. This degeneration of the retina is slow, affects both eyes, and begins with an alteration of peripheral vision and then of central vision.

The first signs are characterized by a progressive narrowing of the visual field, leaving in the end only a small visual field of 5 to 10 degrees. Central visual acuity does not normally deteriorate until late, but there are forms where damage to the cones and macula (central vision) precedes damage to the rods (peripheral vision).

Deafness is common, even apart from associative forms such as Usher syndrome, it appears in about 20% of cases after 40 years.

There are many forms of retinitis pigmentosa.

If there are cases in the families of the parents, report it to the doctor.

For the moment, there is no treatment to cure the disease, but research on retinal diseases is active worldwide.

Their ophthalmologist monitors people with retinitis pigmentosa to prevent the onset of macular edema, cataracts, glaucoma… Daily, special tinted glasses for low vision can provide better visual contrast, and centers specializing in low vision support people on a case-by-case basis. Subjects should protect their eyes from the sun.

Congenital Glaucoma

It is a malformation of the iridocorneal angle (angle between the cornea and the iris), causing ocular hypertension (high eye pressure), and enlargement of the eye or buphthalmos, at birth or shortly after birth. time after. Buphthalmos is an increase in the size of the eyeball (protruding eyes), it is accompanied by a megalocornea (diameter of the large cornea). There is often tearing dilation of the episcleral vessels (white part of the eye), and photophobia (high sensitivity to light).

Congenital glaucoma affects both eyes in 75% of cases. Its frequency is estimated at 5 per 100,000 births. Watch out for heredity.

Ptosis

It is an eyelid that does not open completely. Watch closely to make sure vision in that eye is not affected.

Retinoblastoma

Retinoblastoma is a rare tumor with an incidence of 1/15,000-20,000 births per year, but it is the most common intraocular malignancy in children.

In approximately 60% of cases, retinoblastoma is unilateral (only 1 eye is affected) with a median age at diagnosis of 2 years.

In 40% of cases, it is bilateral (both eyes are affected) with a median age at diagnosis of one year.

100% of bilateral forms and 10% of unilateral forms are hereditary. The frequency of familial forms is currently increasing.

Early detection by your ophthalmologist is essential to preserve vision, and of course to avoid putting the vital prognosis of the eye at stake.

Conclusion

Detection of these diseases at an early stage is necessary, so, try to keep in check if your child is having problems like this and go for regular eye checkups with your ophthalmologist.

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