What symptoms in children can show vision problems?
A child should be examined immediately if they show the following typical symptoms to rule out any vision problems:-
- Gets frustrated when reading
- Closes or covers one eye
- Poor handwriting
- Screws up eye or frowns to see
- Rubs eyes and blinks a lot
- Finds it difficult to copy words from the chalkboard
- Complains that things are blurry or hard to see
- Short attention span; gazes out of the window
- Frequently loses place when reading
Skips words or whole lines of text
What is shortsightedness?
These people struggle to focus distance objects sharply. They can normally read quite well without spectacles at a close range, like reading books, or computer-work. The stronger the short-sightedness, the shorter their range of ability to focus distance objects clearly.
Parallel rays entering the eye are focussed in front of the retina. The brain then receives blurry images of objects that are on the distance, concave lenses are used to re-direct the rays onto the retina, and clear vision is obtained.
What is farsightedness?
These People see distant objects more distinctly than near ones, and when the farsighted problem is above certain strength, even distance vision becomes a problem. These people may experience close reading books or computer-work difficult and tiresome.
Parallel rays entering the eye are focussed behind the retina. Convex lenses are used to re-direct the light rays onto the retina to obtain clear vision.
What is astigmatism?
Astigmatism is a condition which causes people to see blurred or skewed images instead of crisp and clear images. It is caused by the fact that the front surface of the eye, the cornea, has an irregular curvature. People with astigmatism have a cornea which is slightly elliptical (like a rugby ball) instead of spherical (like a football).
This problem can be addressed by either spectacles and/or contact lenses. The development and the monitoring of possible changes in astigmatism are important to detect and determine possible negative development of the cornea and the eye due to astigmatism.
What is macular degeneration?
Macular degeneration is a condition that damages the macula, the central part of the retina. The macula is responsible for central vision and the ability to see detail .When the macula is damaged, the eye loses its ability to see detail, such as small print, facial features or small objects.
Early detection and diagnosis is important to prevent AMD (Age Related Macular Degeneration) from progressing to late or advanced stages. Regular eye examination is important. Early sighs can be seen during examination before symptoms develop. There are two types of the disease: dry macular degeneration and wet macular degeneration
Dry AMD is also called early or moderate AMD and is the most common form. It is caused by tiny deposits, known as drusen that build up under the retina. Dry AMD can result in blurred and cloudy areas of central vision, causing it to alter your ability to see what s in front of you. Dry AMD is less likely to cause central vision loss compared to Wet AMD
Wet AMD is more severe than Dry AMD. It occurs when abnormal blood vessels behind the macula start to grow under the retina. They push the macula up from its normal position and leak, bleed and scar, resulting in rapid central vision loss
What is a pteryguim?
A pteryguim is a benign growth on the conjunctiva (white visible area of the eye). Pteryguims develop in patients who have been living in hot climates and may represent a response to chronic dryness and ultraviolet exposure.
This condition must be monitored with regular consultations, and when the growth is in an advanced state, surgery is necessary to remove the growth. The rate of growth is variable. Excessive exposure to Ultra Violet light, bright sunlight and dusty environments can increase excessive and quick growth of the pteriguim. Wearing correct prescription lenses/ or sunglasses with proper protection against harmful sunlight is an important consideration in reducing exposure to the harmful contributants of pterygium growth.
Be careful of inexpensive sunglasses claiming to protect against UV rays. Buy sunglasses from recognized distributors of good quality sunglasses. The optometrist can assist you in making the correct choice of brand and/or specific function and need for the sunglasses.
What is a cataract?
A cataract is a progressive clouding of the human lens inside the eye. The lens is a transparent oval structure situated just behind the iris (coloured part of the eye). An eye with a cataract views the world as through a bathroom window. Glare becomes a problem especially in bright sunlight and during driving at night; detecting color and contrast become a problem. The most common cause of cataract is ageing. The lens loose transparency over a period of months to years and the patient experience a gradual decrease in visual perception. Eye examinations by an Optometrist is recommended so that the visual acuity and health of your eyes can be monitored and if necessary referred for cataract surgery, especially if the cataract interfere with your daily activities. Cataract surgery is very common, depending on the type of intra ocular lens inserted; you might only need a pair of spectacles either for distance or near vision, or no spectacles at all after the operation.
What is presbyopia?
Presbyopia is a condition caused by the natural course of aging usually first noticed between ages 40 and 50. These people find it difficult to focus on near objects due to the loss of elasticity of the crystalline lens in the eye. This condition must not be confused with farsightedness.
This problem can be alleviated by prescribing reading spectacles. It is important to take into consideration a persons’ profession, working condition, sport and hobbies to make the correct decision in the type of lenses that will work best. Different choices are available, in bifocal or multifocal lenses and variations of multifocal lenses suited specifically for specific professions or working /living conditions. This is very important and the professional opinion of the optometrist is of great value in making the correct decision.