Every Fourth Child Has Vision Problems!

Problems with vision are more common in children of kindergarten age than it was previously thought…

Previously it was thought that every 20th preschool-age child has vision problems, but U.S. research showed that it is actually every fourth child!

Experts of the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, discovered a disheartening situation with children’s eyesight after examining almost 10,000 youngsters aged between six months and six years. They found that four percent of children were short-sighted and 21 percent far-sighted. Even ten percent of children had an error in the curvature of the cornea, causing astigmatism (difficulty of focusing that leads to blurred vision).

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Apart from these minor problems with vision, called refractive anomalies, U.S. researchers found a greater number of serious cases: two percent of infants had strabismus (improper alignment, or “escape” of the eye), about five percent of children were visually impaired (appearance of visually impaired eye, but without seeing any pathological changes on the eye). Both these difficulties can lead to permanent vision loss if not treated early in childhood.

Experts were also able to identify several important risk factors for vision problems, including exposure to smoke and lack of access to health insurance.

A study published in the journal Ophthalmology found that children can outgrow myopia and astigmatism, but not farsightedness. Experts warn of the importance of early examinations at the ophthalmologist, which can reveal problems with vision, and treat it in time.

Taken from: www.ordinacija.hr