Just like every other part of their bodies, children’s eyes should be examined regularly, as many vision problems and eye diseases can be detected and treated early.
Pediatric eye problems abound and while some are mild, a few of them are severe and could lead to loss of sight in babies and young children.
If none of the above applies to your child but there is a family history of turned eye, lazy eye or strong glasses at an early age, the ideal time for your child to have an eye check is between the ages of 2 and a half and 3 years. At this age, your child is old enough for a very accurate vision test and it is still early enough to manage any problems.
In Dr Anya Samuel’s opinion, eye problem in children ranges from developmental abnormalities and often times, genetic eye problems.
The doctor who works in a private hospital in Abuja, says some eye challenges begin from the time when some mothers are pregnant with their children either as a result of infection or inadequacy in certain nutrients that are essential to eye sight
Signs that point to any kind of eye defect that mothers should look out for include misaligned eyes, squinting one eye, bumping into objects or other signs of poor depth perception, head tilting, and double vision.
The therapy for these can include glasses, patching, eye drops, and sometimes surgery, according to Dr Samuel.
It is advised that screening for some vision problems is done soon after birth and then at around when the child is 4-years-old.
It is important that children have this screening in their first year at school. This screening does not find all vision problems but can detect several eye challenges that can give a clue to a major problem and prevent it from getting severe.
A full eye test is recommended for all infants and children when there is:
Turned eye (strabismus)
Lazy eye (amblyopia)
Strong glasses at an early age (refractive error)
Premature birth (30 weeks gestation or less)
This way, the mode of treatment for any of the cases will be identified.