The Importance of Child Screening
It is key to check for any eye problems at a young age. The major problem is that a vision problem can affect how well a child can learn. An undetected eye problem can really hamper a child’s growth and development. This screening process
can help to figure out if an infant or a child needs to have their vision checked more thoroughly.
If the child is less than eight years-old, the eyes are not matured fully yet. The main goal at this point is to look for amblyogenic risks. These are problems that could cause a lazy eye if they are not taken care of at a young age. Some of these problems include congenital cataracts, ptosis, muscle imbalance, of a difference in eyesight in each eye.
If the child is older than eight, normally he or she is being checked for refractive errors in vision.
In children from zero to two years old, astigmatism is the most common problem. Many of them outgrow this problem. Strabismus is found in 1-2% of children. Most of the kids that have this at a young age end up farsighted.
Eye conditions seen in this age group of vision screening include congenital cataracts. This problem can cause nystagmus in three months time. A unilateral cataract should be taken out by the 17th week. Otherwise, 20/20 vision may not be possible.
Another eye condition for children zero to two years old is a retinoblastoma. This is a tumor in the retina. This condition has a 93% survival rate for children if it is detected early. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that the infant’s eyes should be checked within 2 months of being born with the red reflex screening test. It checks if there is anything wrong that obstructs the light flow in the eye.
For children of preschool age in vision screening, asymmetric refractive errors are frequent. However, nearsightedness is rarely seen at this age.
For older children, near sightedness is common; it normally begins to occur around 7-10 years-old. Refractive errors such as nearsightedness means that light rays do not focus precisely on the retina. Newborn children normally are very nearsighted, with vision about 20/400. Normally their vision becomes 20/20 by five years of age.
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