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How regular eye examinations can help save children’s vision
Over one billion people worldwide suffer from some type of vision impairment. Yet many of these vision problems could be resolved if diagnosed and treated during childhood. Dr. Arif O. Khan, Pediatric Ophthalmologist within Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Pediatric Eye Service, discusses why childhood eye examinations are so important.
“Poor vision not only affects a child’s ability to see, it can also affect their confidence, social life, general health, and even school performance. Fortunately, common childhood vision conditions can often be treated successfully – but detecting them early is key” says Dr. Khan.
Some of the most common vision problems in children include:
Learning how to spot the signs of possible vision conditions in children is vital for their development and their future. Here are a few clues that can indicate vision problems in children:
Children won’t always be able to describe that they are unable to see properly, or that they are experiencing eye problems. However, they may use phrases that could indicate a problem, like “My eyes hurt”, “Everything is blurry” or “I can’t see the classroom board”. It’s also important to note that rather than verbalizing that they cannot see, some children with visual impairment have a poor attention span or personality issues. If you notice any signs of vision issues, it’s important to take your child to an ophthalmologist as soon as possible.
Dr. Khan adds, “It’s never too early to examine a child’s vision if a problem is suspected. A patient can be as young as 1 day old. It’s imperative to treat any childhood problems early on. Even if a problem isn’t suspected, all children should have an eye examination by 4 years of age to rule out causes of visual impairment that may be most responsive to treatment during childhood.”
Eye diseases in children are different from those in adults and require a specialized approach. Speak to the team at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Pediatric Eye Service to book your child in for an eye exam – it might just save their sight.
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