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Many of us believe that if we can see well, we don’t need to visit an eye doctor. While good vision is clearly important, an eye exam does more than just test your vision. In fact, your eyes can be portals that offer a glimpse of your overall health. In fact, many diseases show early signs in the eyes , including high blood pressure and diabetes. So, a comprehensive eye exam can help you at any age.
Vision and learning are closely linked. Children don’t know what ‘normal’ vision is like, so they may not know to complain. Children’s eyes change rapidly as they grow, so eye care is important.
Good vision is essential for proper physical development and educational progress in growing children.The visual system of the young child is not fully mature. Equal input from both eyes is required for proper development of the visual centers in the brain. If a growing child’s eye does not provide a clear, focused image to the developing brain, irreversible loss of vision in one or both eyes may result (Amblyopia).
Early detection provides the best opportunity for effective treatment.
One of the major causes of avoidable visual impairment and disability in India and worldwide is refractive error particularly amongst the school going children. In addition, other ocular diseases that can occur in children are;
a. Squint: Disorder in which the eyes don't look in exactly the same direction at the same time.
b. Amblyopia (Lazy Eyes): Decreased eyesight due to abnormal visual development.
c. Congenital defects: Eg Retinitis pigmentosa - An eye disease in which the back wall of the eye (retina) is damaged.
d. Vitamin A deficiency: Vitamin A deficiency can cause blindness. It can also increase the risk of serious, sometimes fatal, infections. Symptoms include night blindness, dry eyes & skin and frequent infections.
e. Retinal tumor (Retinoblastoma): An eye cancer that begins in the back of the eye (retina), most common in children less than 5 years of age.
f. Other Miscellaneous causes.
To tackle this important issue, school children of all ages, group needs to be examined from time to time. Just because there is no complain about vision, you should not assume that your child has perfect vision. Often children do not know they should be able to see well than they do.
Recommended Eye Examination Frequency for Pediatric Patients and Adults comprehensive eye examination, even if there is no “apparent” eye problem.