August is the Children’s eye health and safety month. This month is basically meant to spread awareness about the need to keep children’s eyesight and vision healthy and vivid. Nowadays, many parents have started handing over gadgets to children at the age of 11, 8 or even 5! No matter how easy mobile phones make it for parents to pacify their child, it is important to understand that technology has its pitfalls. Harmful radiations from phones, tablets and laptop screens can cause severe damage to a child’s vision. Many children need eyes glasses way before adults and this must be taken seriously. So on the occasion of Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month, we talk about ways to protect your child’s eyes and how important it is to prevent eye damage during early years of learning.
If your child complains of itchiness in the eyes or inability to read the classroom board, you should immediately take him to a doctor and get the eyes checked. Other symptoms which may indicate a need for eye check-up are squinting and persistent headache. You also need to see a doctor in case the child is unable to differentiate between colors, has redness and/or swelling in eyes, and watery eyes.
Some common eye diseases among children are:
1. Amblyopia (lazy eye): In this disease, one eye is weaker than the other. The brain might completely stop comprehending images of the weaker eye. Treatment includes eye patch on the stronger eye, glasses and even surgery.
2. Strabismus (cross eyes): This is a basic condition of squinting of either of the eyes. It can be treated with eyeglasses or surgery.
3. Astigmatism: This occurs due to an irregularity in the shape of the cornea. It leads to blurred vision but can be treated by eyeglasses.
4. Conjunctivitis: Also known as ‘pink eye’, conjunctivitis is the most common eye problem in children. It is a bacterial infection causing redness in the eyes. It also causes discharge of fluid from the eye. It can be treated using eye drops.