Q. What is Hyperopia or Long sightedness?
A. Longsightedness is caused by a short eye. Most infants are born long sighted and gradually emmetropise to become normal sighted by preschool age.
Untreated longsighted can cause visual blur particularly at near. This may result in poor attention span, difficulty at concentrating and focusing when reading. It is not uncommon to have headaches, and eyestrain. Children may often hold the near tasks very close.
In longstanding uncorrected cases, Hyperopia can lead to lazy eyes including esophoria, (turned in eyes). Reading spectacles often solve this problem allowing not only clearer but easier vision to focus.
Q. What is Myopia or Shortsighted?
Myopic eyes are often long eyes. They present with blurred distance vision, but clear vision for reading.
A child will complain the board is blurry and needs to sit closer to the front. They will also sit very close to the television and often squint.
Distance spectacles are often the solution.
Diabetes may need to be ruled out.
Q. What is Astigmatism?
The front of our eye is called the cornea. Most corneas are equally shaped and spherical like a soccer ball Astigmatism arises when the corneal curvature is uneven, similar to an oval football.
This means that the prescription to correct vision for example at 90 degrees will be a different amount to that at 180 degrees.
Eyes fatigue and blur quickly. Uncorrected high amounts of astigmatism, not only cause blur and distortion, but often lead to lazy, Amblyopic eyes.
Early detection allows for spectacles to be prescribed to stimulate and promote growth of the nerves in the retina and the connection to the cortex of the brain.
Q. What is Strabismus or Turned Eye?
Strabismus is noted when the two eyes are not aligned. Many children have “crossed eyes”, often associated with significant Hyperopia. These crossed eyes straighten up when corrective glasses are worn.
For the ones that don’t, we will often seek a Paediatric Ophthalmological opinion to see if surgery is required.
Many infants are born with eye turns, or develop early on in their young lives. Congenital eye turns are often Esotropia.
Turned eyes are due to muscle imbalance. An Esotropia is noted when the eyes turn in, and an Exotropia is when one eye wanders out. Sometimes this can be alternating. In these cases, binocularity, (using two eyes for 3D vision) is a very difficult task.
If your child has an “Acquired eye turn” from 2-6 years old, you should have a comprehensive eye examination as soon as you can.
Untreated Strabismus, can affect every day activities including eye-hand coordination, sports abilities, reading and writing.
Children may often present much clumsier, especially if it is causing them to have diplopia or double vision.
Q. Whaat is Amblyopia or ‘Lazy Eye
Amblyopia is when one eye does not see as well as the other. This may be caused by uneven refraction (spectacles required), Strabismus (turned eye) or even uncorrected astigmatism to name a few.
The brain will choose to ignore the blurred image from this eye. The nerves are not stimulated, and can often regress. It is important to assess and treat this problem. Often glasses solve this problem. Sometimes patching may also be required. Patching of the good eye, will encourage the weaker eye to wake up and work. Often equal vision in each eye may not be achievable, but getting it to reasonable vision, allows for our children to “have a spare tyre” with regards to two eyes working.
Once the vision is improved, then the eyes can learn to see together and promote stereopsis.
Q. Who can be Colour-blind, or Colour defective?
Colour blindness is a usually a genetic (hereditary) condition that you are born with it.
Red/green and blue colour blindness is usually passed down from your parents.
The gene, which is responsible for this condition, is carried on the X chromosome. Males have only one X chromosome, as the Y depicts the gender. Females have 2 X chromosomes, so they have to get two color defective genes to be color defective
This is the reason why many more men are affected than women.
Fact: 8% of boys ie 1 in 12 boys and
0.01% of girls ie 1 in 1000 girls are color defective.
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