Pediatric ophthalmology

Pediatric ophthalmology

Our task is to save the vision of your children!

At birth, the baby has an amazing vision: its world is upside down and all objects are vague, both far and close. Hearing of the baby is nevertheless excellent, tactile sensations are well-developed, olfaction is quite good too. After 1-2 weeks the picture starts turning. Then some babies make their first attempt to follow the object..

You should remember!  By the age of one month babies must follow bright objects (preferably, a bright toy making piping sounds; you should carry the toy slowly close to the baby’s face, left and right, at a distance of 40cm, drawing the baby’s attention by the sound the toy makes (at the beginning).

According to data found in foreign and Russian literature, 80-90% of children at birth are hypermetropes, i.e. farsighted. This characteristic of refractive power is explained by a small anterior-posterior axis of the eye with dimensions of 16-18 mm. Over time the baby’s eye will grow to an average of 23-24 mm (relative anthropometric norm for the anterior-posterior axis of the eye of an adult). Thus, with the growth of the eye hyperopia gradually diminishes.

However, there may be serious deviations from the plan. The most frequent one is myopia (nearsightedness, the so-called “minus”).

You must  bring the child to the pediatric ophthalmologist at the age of 1 month as prescribed by state standards. Next visit should be at the age of 1 year and then annually, or more often, according to recommendations of your ophthalmologist!

In our clinic we pay great attention to the treatment refractive errors in children and adolescents. All diagnostic and therapeutic activities are carried out by experienced specialists according to international standards. We use only up-to-date equipment produced by world leading manufacturers!

Why does nearsightedness (myopia) arise?

Myopia is often congenital (most often caused by prematurity, heredity, pathological conditions and diseases). Myopia can be acquired. The causes of acquired myopia may also be heredity, weakness of accommodation and so-called “weakening” of the sclera (the question of the adverse impact of hormones, growth factors, which may be contained in meat and dairy foods and genetically modified foods is debated and very important), continuous work up close, physical and psycho-emotional fatigue, adverse environmental impacts, neglect of visual hygiene and various diseases that result in the weakening of the body.

You should remember! A child born completely healthy, with the “right” farsightedness, can become shortsighted from the first years of life!!!

Why is MYOPIA so DANGEROUS?

If a baby suffers from progressive myopia, there is a high risk of qualitative vision deterioration in percentage terms, even when maximum spectacle correction is used. Despite spectacle correction vision stays bad. Then strabismus and retinal lesions follow!

You should remember!  The degree and cause of myopia are less important than the condition of the retina, the presence of dangerous forms of degeneration and possible irreversible loss of vision..

Myopia at any age may lead to:

  1. Degenerative changes in the retina, including breaks, retinal detachments, leading to permanent deterioration of visual acuity, blindness and disability in severe cases;
  2. Amblyopia (“lazy eye”), when it is impossible to see to the full extent with correction and without it;
  3. Strabismus accompanied by amblyopia.

However parents can prevent these irreversible consequences!

You should remember!  Annual visits to the ophthalmologist are a must, even if there are no complaints from your children..

How to treat myopia in children?

It is important to understand that child’s myopia will not disappear, so the main task of the parents and the ophthalmologist is not to get rid of myopia, but to reduce the risk of its complications. At a given time the progression of myopia stops, visual functions remain normal (and sometimes even improve, for example, if amblyopia, the so-called “lazy” eye, is treated); adequate blood flow of the retina and choroid persists.

First, the child should be fully examined by an ophthalmologist under the conditions of cycloplegia (wide pupil). The corrective tactics should be elaborated (glasses and/or contact lenses, wearing mode, if necessary, for near and distance vision, for continuous wear and many other important details).

Secondly, it is necessary to examine the pathology of the retina. If adverse effects have been diagnosed, an individual treatment plan should be drawn up, including, if necessary, laser treatment.

Third, a plan of conservative treatment is drawn up. Stimulation exercises with the use of special equipment are done, i.e. the child exercises using various devices under the supervision of medical staff. The course, the number of devices and the duration of exercises are determined on an individual basis.

Fourth, a schedule of visits to the ophthalmologist is prepared.

Farsightedness (hyperopia)

Besides myopia, there is another serious danger – hyperopia (so-called farsightedness). Normally, babies are hypermetropes. In the following years, hyperopia diminishes; this is explained by the growth of the eyeball. However, there are deviations from the desired development plan. Hyperopia can have a greater extent than normal at a particular age, which may lead to deterioration in visual acuity and strabismus.

How to treat hyperopia?

In each case, the ophthalmologist elaborates an individual course of treatment, including spectacle correction of hyperopia, contact lens correction, visual stimulation courses and conservative therapy. Often there are cases of myopia or hyperopia in one eye. If the deviation is insignificant, the child may not complain at all!

How are vision disorders diagnosed in children?

First of all, you need a complete eye examination of the child, including cycloplegia (with a wide pupil), which allows selecting the right glasses or even contact lenses, and, thanks to a wide pupil, examining the most important structure of the eye – the retina, and detecting its pathology, if any. The examination makes it clear whether the child should wear glasses or contact lenses and in what way, whether an additional eye treatment is required and so on.

What is the danger of IGNORING myopia and hyperopia in CHILDREN?

In addition to the above degenerative changes of the retina in case of myopia, so-called amblyopia (“lazy eye”) may develop. In such a condition, 100% vision cannot be restored even with glasses. The eye will not see the complete chart. Amblyopia, in turn, often leads to strabismus!!!

You should remember! You are responsible for the health of your children, their success in various spheres of life, including communication, and their mental health!!!

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