Stress on early treatment of eye ailments in children

VISAKHAPATNAM, OCT. 11. Any problem with vision among children must be diagnosed and treated early because response to treatment will be better at a tender age.

Emerging sub-speciality

After nine years of age, any corrective treatment may not work as well as in early stages. Paediatric ophthalmology is an emerging sub-speciality which deals with refractive (vision-related) errors in children, according to Lipika Roy, a paediatric opthalmologist of the Sankar Foundation Eye Hospital here.

``Parents, particularly the mother, would be able to notice if the child has any problem with its vision.

While she may not exactly be able identify the problem, any abnormal response is an indication,'' Dr. Roy told a press conference on Monday.

The hospital chief, R. Suryanarayana Raju, who was present, said that the hospital was formally introducing the paediatric ophthalmology wing on the World Sight Day on October 14.

Dr. Roy said that amblyopia (lazy eye) and squint should be treated early. If amblyopia was not treated before the child was nine years old, it might not respond as well as it would in early stages. Similarly, a squint could be straightened at later stages but vision might not improve.

Retinopathy of prematurity (RoP) found in premature babies could be treated effectively if detected early and was taken up on some children at the King George Hospital.

She and Dr. Raju were of the view that vision problems were not lifestyle-related. Children studying more, or watching TV and working on computer, which resulted in more visual activity, would not result in any problems. But if a child watched TV from close quarters, then it should be a cause for concern.

World Sight Day

He said that on October 14 a check-up would be held by the hospital for children studying up to Standard Five at Balaji Public School at Gopalapatnam. At the hospital at Simhachalam, too, children below 14 years would be examined free and advice given.

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