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Your child’s eyes are special. Vision is arguably the most important of the five senses. It plays a crucial role throughout childhood and beyond. In fact, experts say 80 percent of what children learn in school is presented visually, so poor eyesight can have a big impact on how your child processes information. Being able to see clearly is therefore incredibly important in your child’s overall development. So it’s not surprising that we take your child’s eyesight seriously. Every bit as seriously as you do.

Caring for young eyes

In most cases, very young children have their eyesight assessed as part of routine developmental checks. A children's eye exam is an expert assessment of your child's eye health and vision performed by an optometrist or ophthalmologist.

A brief examination of your child’s eyes and a vision screening by a pediatrician or family practice doctor is very important, though they aren’t as thorough as a complete eye test by an optometrist or Ophthalmologist. So we recommend that your child has their eyes tested from an early age at a clinic.
Vision screening and correction before your son or daughter goes into full-time education means that any problems they may have are identified early, ensuring clear vision and a happy and fulfilling school life.

Poor eyesight can cause learning and behavioural problems, which might be blamed on other things. This is especially true for young children, who may find it difficult to explain the difficulties they are having with their eyesight. They may not even be aware they have a problem at all.

And of course the sooner that vision problems are detected, the better the outcome. Conditions such as squint and amblyopia (lazy eye) can be treated more effectively if they are picked up earlier, which could make a huge difference to your child.

Squint

What is a Squint?

A squint is a condition where the child’s eyes instead of aligning straight, point in different directions. It can cause blurred vision, double vision and lead to lazy eye.
 

How common is it?

Around 1 in 20 children have a squint. It can be picked up in routine eye checks. If you notice your baby or young child has crossed eyes or some other apparent eye misalignment, schedule an appointment with an eye doctor (ophthalmologist ) near you immediately — preferably with an ophthalmologist who specializes in children's vision.
 

How is it treated?

Squints can be treated with glasses and eye exercises. If these don’t work, surgery may be needed to move the muscles that control the eye.
 

Astigmatism

What is an Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a vision condition that causes blurred vision due to an irregularly shaped cornea, the clear front cover of the eye and changes in curvature of the crystalline lens inside the eye. (more like a rugby ball than a football).
 

How common is it?

It is very common. In fact, many people who wear glasses will have some degree of astigmatism.
 

What are the common symptoms of Astigmatism?

• Blurred or distorted vision for distance and near
• Eyestrain and headaches
• Squinting to see objects clearly
• Discomfort of eyes
 

How is it treated?

Left untreated, astigmatism can cause headaches, eye strain and tiredness, particularly after doing tasks that involve focusing on something for long periods, such as reading or using a computer. People with astigmatism have several options to regain clear vision. They include:

• Eyeglasses are the most popular correction method for astigmatism - The eyeglasses contain a special cylindrical lens prescription that corrects Astigmatism.
• Contact lenses - Some people with an active lifestyle prefer astigmatism correction with contact lenses. Contact lenses may provide clear vision and a wider field of view. Special toric soft contact lenses can correct for many types of astigmatism.

Shortsightedness

What is Short-sightedness?

Myopia, also known as shortsightedness, is a condition where a person is able to see near things clearly but the distance objects/vision is blurred. A person with short sight will be able to see things up close quite clearly, like when they’re reading. But for tasks that require distance vision, like driving or watching TV, their vision is blurred.
 

How common is it?

Very common. Today 28% of the world’s population has myopia, by 2050, 50% of the world’s population will be myopic. In many countries it is being treated at the level of epidemic. Young children and teenagers mostly suffer from shortsightedness.
 

What are the main causes of shortsightedness?

• Genetics
• Excessive usage of digital devices/near work
• Exposure to less Sunlight
• Indoor work/lack of sunlight increases dopamine in the body, which triggers the growth of the eyeball, increasing chances of developing myopia.
• Studies suggest, children should at least play for 45 minutes outdoors to reduce chances of developing myopia.
 

How to slow down shortsightedness?

• Wearing correct prescription (eyeglasses)
• By making changes in lifestyle, includes balance of outdoor activities and indoor work and regular monitoring
• Use of specific types of progressive lenses
• By means of medications (eye drops) for kids
• Use of specialty contact lenses in kids which are worn at night and reshape the cornea (temporary) so that during the day, glasses are not required. This technique is known as Orthokeratology.
 

How can Shortsightedness be treated?

• It can be easily corrected by Eyeglasses and contact lenses
• Retarding the onset/progression is being achieved through various methods for children in specific

Amblyopia

What is Amblyopia or lazy eye?

Lazy eye is a vision development disorder in which an eye fails to achieve normal visual acuity, even with prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. If your child is diagnosed with an amblyopic or lazy eye, it usually means that one of their eyes is weaker than the other, causing them to rely more on their ‘good’ eye.
 

How common is it?

Around 1 in 50 children develop an amblyopic or lazy eye. Amblyopia typically begins during infancy and early childhood. In most cases, only one eye is affected. But in some cases, amblyopia can occur in both eyes.
It can usually be diagnosed at about the age of four during routine eye checks with a qualified Optometrist, or at their developmental screening. Another clue your child may have a lazy eye is if he or she cries or fusses when you cover one eye.
It is very important that the child undergoes vision screening at regular basis in his early years starting kindergarten to rule out possibility of Amblyopia.
 

How is it treated?

Glasses will be prescribed to correct the vision in the weaker eye and often no further treatment is required. If the weak eye does not respond fully then a patch can be worn over the good eye for part of the day to force the weaker eye to work. Treatment is usually effective but may take a while. The earlier the condition is identified and treatment started, the better and faster are the results.
 

Longsightedness

What is Long-sightedness?

Children with long-sightedness can see distant objects very well, but have difficulty focusing on objects that are up close. The condition is also referred to as hyperopia.
 

How common is it?

Most children are slightly long-sighted but often will not require glasses to correct it unless it is causing a problem.
 

How is it treated?

If your child has a significant level of long sight, it can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses.
 

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