Attention needed for healthy keiki eye development

| August 26, 2016 | 0 Comments
Keiki need routine eye exams.

Keiki need routine eye exams.

News Release
August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month.

Children have several common eye problems. Being aware of them will help you make sure that your children’s eyes are healthy and that their vision is protected.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, amblyopia, or “lazy eye,” is the most common cause of vision problems in children. “Lazy eye” occurs when the brain favors using one eye over the other.

About two to three percent of people have amblyopia. It is the most common cause of permanent vision impairment among children, young and middle-aged adults, and there are several causes, such as strabismus (associated with eyes that cross) and astigmatism.

Cross-eyes occurs when the position of the eyes is imbalanced. This imbalance makes the eyes cross in or turn out, which causes the affected person to appear to look in different directions and not focus on the same point at the same time.

When the eyes can’t focus on the same image, then depth perception is reduced. Depth perception is the ability to know where an object is based or where it is in your field of vision. If left untreated, the brain might learn to ignore one eye. This can lead to permanent vision loss in the eye that is being ignored.

Astigmatism is a common vision condition that causes blurred vision. It occurs when the cornea (the clear front cover of the eye) is irregularly shaped.
There are treatments available for both lazy eye (strabismus) and cross-eyes (amblyopia). One common treatment involves patching the dominant eye to encourage the brain to use the other eye, according to the National Eye Institute. Your child’s eye would only have to be patched for two to six hours a day.

Another common treatment is the use of eye drops that temporarily blur vision in the dominant eye. These therapies typically last a few weeks to a few months and can prevent years of potential vision loss. Your child’s doctor should check for amblyopia and strabismus during well-child visits.

You may take your child to an optometrist or an ophthalmologist to screen for eye health as well. Routine eye exams are part of well-child visits. TRICARE covers well-child visits up to age 6.

Optometry Clinic,
U.S. Army Health Clinic
Schofield Barracks
The Optometry Clinic provides comprehensive eye care services to all active duty military. Retired military personnel, family members and other DoD/TRICARE beneficiaries, ages 5 and above, are seen on a space-available basis.
The Optometry Clinic is located on the second floor of Bldg. 676 of the Schofield Barracks Health Clinic, directly above the Pharmacy.
The Reception Desk is at 433-8462.

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Category: Health

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