The National Health Interview Survey, in the United States, recently conducted a research and discovered that about 3% of children who are 18 years and below suffer from various forms of visual impairment, blindness or could not see even with the aid of glasses.
Some of the commonest visual impairments that where identified include:
Pediatric Eye Care - AMBLYOPIA
Some children between the ages of 6 months to 5 years were discovered to have cases of Amblyopia. It primarily causes vision loss in children. It is generated as a result of abnormal development of the neural connectivity between the eye and the brain during the child’s early life. Amblyopia is also referred to as “lazy eye.”
A typical case of a loss in vision can only affect one of the eyes, but children who suffer from Amblyopia are more likely to suffer from vision impairment in their later life than those who do not have it. With this, it’s therefore vital to detect amblyopia at its early stage so it could be treated and curbed in time before the child gets to the age of seven. If it’s neglected or not treated on time, it could lead to loss of vision permanently in one or both eyes.
Pediatric Eye Care - STRABISMUS
Strabismus is best described as the non-arrangement of the eyes, and it has affected 2% to 4% of children under the age of 6. Strabismus causes the brain to receive complex visual inputs because the eyes are oriented in different directions. This impairs the perception process and binocular vision development.
Pediatric Eye Care - REFRACTIVE ERRORS
This represents the most common causes of visual disorder in children. It can consist of hyperopia, astigmatism, and myopia. It results in blurred vision because the lights are not focused on the retina. When such refractive errors are not corrected in infants, and children in pre-school age, due to parental concerns regarding the developmental delay. Also, the clinically based deficiency in visual-motor and cognitive functions that might later affects the child’s readiness for school. But its prevalence varies among different studies due to different examination techniques and diagnostic criteria.
Pediatric Eye Care - MYOPIA
Myopia refers to any condition whereby the visual images focuses on the front of the retina and causes a defective vision of distant objects. According to reports, about 4 percent of children between 6 months to 72 months old and 9 percent of older children between 5-17 years are suffering from myopia. Its prevalence varies by ethnicity, race, and age.
Pediatric Eye Care - HYPEROPIA
Hyperopia occurs when the visual images focus at a point beyond the retina resulting in a defective vision of near objects. It’s also known as farsightedness because it makes nearby objects to appear blurry. Its occurrence is about 21 percent among children (6 months to 5 years of age) and 13 percent among children (5 to 17 years of age). Its appearance varies among race, age, and ethnicity.
Pediatric Eye Care - ASTIGMATISM
This is an irregularity in the shape of the lens or cornea which leads to a blurred vision of distant objects. About 15 and 28 percent of children under the age of 17 years old have astigmatism. Most children who suffer from myopia and hyperopia tend to have astigmatism too.