Why is it necessary to evaluate children's eyesight?
Children´s vision develops in the first 8 to 10 years of life. During these years visual pathways develop in the central nervous system. In order for the visual development to be normal, a clear image is required to enter the retina through the cornea , lens and vitreous. After these years it is difficult to correct the visual development.
What is amblyopia?
Amblyopia is the largest cause of visual impairment on one or both eyes in children. In North America, the frequency is 2-4%.
The most common causes of amblyopia:
Refractive errors like e.g. hyperopia and astigmatism, cause the image to be unequal or can cause the image on the retina to be blurred. The brain then has no chance of developing normal pathways.
Lazy eye (strabismus), where the child only uses the eye that has better sight.
Eye disorders that inhibit normal visual development, such as cataracts.
How can you detect amblyopia or strabismus?
With a visual screening exam, these are usually done at normal health checkups, they try to identify children who see either badly on one or both eyes and perform vision screening at 3-5 years of age. Ambylopia is also often discovered earlier in the event of a shadow or if an indirect measurement is performed with plusOptix S04 Photoscreener.
What can you do?
Before the age of 9, visual defects can be corrected with glasses, to get a clear picture on the retina and often correct the eyesight too. If there is a great difference in visual acuity between eyes, temporary patches must also be used to force the child to use the worse eye.