An ophthalmological examination is needed: the first can be done at any age, to catch problems in time that could prevent the correct development of vision
I am a myopic dad. My three year old occasionally squints in front of the TV. When is it good to have the first eye examination? How do I know if and when I have to wear glasses?
He answers Andrew Lemboophthalmologist, San Giuseppe Multimedica Hospital, Milan (VAI AL FORUM)
A blink of the eyes does not always mean a visual defect, sometimes it can imply irritation (as occurs in allergic conjunctivitis). The first eye examination should be a moment of screening and not for diagnosis: it must be performed to prevent the child from having problems that hinder the correct development of vision. Because of this always the right time: at any age, in fact, a child can be examined. The visual system develops in the first seven years of life: in this period, defined as plastic, some specific ones mature neurons who will determine what it will be maximum visual potential. We have to give ourselves some rules, or rather common lines of conduct so as not to lead to hyper-medicalization. A first screening, i.e. the control of the red reflex, is performed after a few days of life in the hospital nursery. This test serves to exclude the presence of opaque means of the ocular diopters which, under physiological conditions, must be transparent (this does not occur, for example, in congenital cataracts).
The treating pediatrician then performs quick tests to understand if the child needs a complete eye examination in the first years of life (like Lang’s test). Checking your eyesight doesn’t just mean figuring out if your child should wear glasses; in the first seven years of life amblyopia (lazy eyewhich affects up to 5% of the population) can be treated through the daily use of a bandage. Finally, a family history of refractive defects (such as hyperopia, myopia or astigmatism) or other eye diseases must cause us to organize a specialist visit in pre-school age. The trusted pediatrician is a key figure to understand when the conditions exist to speed up the times. In physiological conditions and in the absence of eye problems among the closest family members, the first visit will be around 36 months. The figure of the orthoptist in this case of great support to increase the child’s confidence and to find ocular motility defects which often escape the untrained eye.
The first visit also provides the instillation of two drops of cycloplegic, an eye drop that temporarily blocks accommodation (ie the involuntary ability to self-compensate for the defect) of the young patient, to determine his refractive state. From this feedback, the ophthalmologist will be able to suggest how often it may be useful to organize a check-up. Finally, coming to your main question, It is not possible to determine with certainty whether the child of a near-sighted person will be near-sighted, but one thing is now known: in recent decades the percentage of myopes in the world has increased significantly. This appears to be due to theincrease in near work typical of study hours and the use of electronic devices. These habits play a vital role in the progression of myopiacombined with hereditary factors. Time spent in the open air, on the other hand, seems protective: for this reason in the latest guidelines of the WSPOS (World society of pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus) two hours a day of exposure to sunlight are recommended, defocusing and playing sports. Myopia therefore begins to be treated with a correct lifestyle.
February 19, 2023 (change February 19, 2023 | 1:25 pm)
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