Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lazy eye

When a child goes near the TV, the general adult reaction is to ask the child to step away from the TV so that "he won't damage his eyes". The child would then get scolded if he goes near again. Or maybe the child has a weird head position. Again the adults would scold the child for that.

What many people do not realize in this case is that sometimes the child already has some problem in his vision to begin with. It may be an error of refraction (nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism) or some other problem.

We cannot afford to be in denial about a child's visual problem because any problem with a child's vision may lead to amblyopia (or lazy eye, in which the eye does not develop to its full visual potential). Any problem with a child's vision should be addressed immediately so that amblyopia could be prevented and he could have normal, binocular vision eventually.

Unfortunately, the window for correction of children's visual problems is quite narrow. Pediatric ophthalmologists would put the window at about 6 years of age. That means that these visual problem should be addressed before the window for visual development closes, after which it would be very difficult, if not impossible to address the problem. I've seen cases of adults with lazy eye wherein nothing more can be done to improve their vision since they came in too late. We don't want that for our kids.

Any problems with the kids' eyes, better see an ophthalmologist. It does not pay to delay intervention when the kids' whole life is at stake.

No comments:

About Me

My photo
A part time ophthalmologist, part time micro business owner, part time graduate student and FULL TIME MOM struggling to find balance in the confusing world of multitasking :)