Does my child see well? – is the question that, at some point, you inevitably ask yourself as a parent.
Impaired vision can become a major disability in social and professional integration, and therefore it is good to know the following:
Sight develops and evolves from the first moments of our existence, and for this to happen at normal parameters, several essential conditions must be met:
- a normal anatomical structure of the eyes (eyes must be normal);
- a parallel position (eyes must be straight);
- normal and parallel movements (eyes must move normally and in a coordinated manner);
- a normally developed nervous system (the brain must function normally).
Any intranatal, perinatal, genetic or accidental event that disrupts the above in the first months of a child’s development may compromise the vision of one or both eyes.
In this case, when would it be most appropriate to do an eye check on the child?
At Oftapro, children can be examined from the first days of life!
EARLY ophthalmological consultation (even in the maternity ward) and the treatment performed by the ophthalmologist specialist in a premature baby can save its eyesight, in case of premature retinopathy. Prematurity, low birth weight, children with a low APGAR score, as well as children from twin and multiple pregnancies are children prone to eye diseases.
If you notice the following signs, you should take your baby to the paediatric ophthalmologist URGENTLY:
- white pupil or any opacity (whiteness);
- drooping eyelid – the eye does not open;
- lack of reaction to visual stimuli
- any appearance asymmetry of the eyes: a larger cornea, one eye smaller or more prominent than the other, uneven pupils, uneven tearing;
- “playful” eyes – oscillating movements of the eyes;
- redness, the presence of abundant secretion, excessive tearing
- sensitivity to exaggerated light
- eyes crossed permanently or not stabilizing in a parallel position until the age of 6 months
Many parents consider strabismus in the baby (an eye that “goes on the side”) to be physiological, that is, normal. This is not correct. Physiological strabismus generally disappears until the age of 6 months and is usually divergent (the eye or eyes “go/goes” towards the sides). Any strabismus observable after the age of 6 months should be examined by a specialist.
Children from families with ophthalmic problems should also be examined IN THE FIRST YEAR OF LIFE, especially where there have been congenital and genetic ophthalmic conditions.
Where there are people wearing the spectacles permanently in the family, with or without a history of strabismus, but especially where there are family members with “lazy eye” (amblyopia), the child should be examined BEFORE THE AGE OF 2.
Even if everything seems to be normal until 2-3 years old and after this age the child seems to have problems with either vision or eye position or other signs and symptoms that appear somewhat along the way, he/she should be examined as soon as possible after the appearance of these signs.
Normally, any child should be examined, ophthalmologically, at least once BEFORE THE AGE OF 3 YEARS OLD (and not after), or in the worst case, before the age of 5 or at least subject to a screening, which could be performed even by the family doctor. In the absence of national programmes for the detection and prevention of eye diseases in children, the only hopes remain: the responsible parent, family doctor and paediatrician, as well as specialized publications that help us, specialists, to communicate directly with the interested parties.