Eye Care in Children

    Eye Care in Children

Healthy eyes and clear vision is the sign of good health in children.

Need for special eye care in children-

child-wth-gogleCertain eye disorders like refractive disorders, squints, amblyopia mainly occurs in children. Any vision problem in a child disrupts the developmental pathway of the brain, leading to permanent vision loss. Early detection and treatment of eye disorders during childhood is also essential for preventing learning disabilities and delayed development in growing children. Eye care for children is quite different from adults.

Recommendations for eye testing-

  • New born- all newborns at the time of birth are always examined for eye reflexes, infections or congenital eye disorders.
  • 6 months- visual screening is done.
  • 3-4 years- complete eye examination and formal visual acquity test is done. There after yearly eye checkup is must for kids.


Children with eye ailment can present with various symptoms like-

  • Regular head ache
  • Blurring of vision
  • Eye pain
  • Difficulty in reading the board



Here are few common signs, usually detected by parents or teachers-

  • Rubbing of the eyes more frequently
  • Sitting near TV or computer
  • Excessive watering of eyes.
  • Involuntary to and fro movements of eyes.

If a child presents with any of the above sign or symptom, one needs to visit an Eye care specialist to do the diagnosis in depth.

However, with incorporating some simple habits in daily lifestyle, you can prevent eye ailments.family


  • Avoid watching TV in dark room
  • Keep proper distance- It is best to watch TV from a distance of at least five times the width of the picture or approx 4meters .
  • Place the T.V set at the eye level. Avoid having to look up or look down at the picture.
  • Avoid staring at the screen for lengthy periods. Look away from the picture around the room or out the window after every 15 mins.
  • Wear glasses if already advised by the doctor.


Precautions while reading-

  • Avoid reading in dim light or direct glare.
  • The light source should be positioned behind the child while reading.
  • Maintain a distance of at least 12- 14 inches from the book, while reading.
  • Avoid reading continuously . Give 10-15 minutes break every 2 hours for relief to eyes.


Precautions while using computer-

  • Maintain the distance of 18-28 inches between the monitor and the eye for children.
  • Monitor should be slightly lower than the eye level.
  • Adopt the practice of frequent blinking while working computer.
  • Do not let the child sit in front computer continuously for more than 40 min

Healthy Diet-

A normal balanced diet is required for maintaining over all health. But for eye care the foods rich in vitamin A and vitamin B are very much essential like green leafy vegetables (spinach (palak),fenugreek(methi)),carrots, beetroot and yellow fruits like mango and papaya.Adequate sleep– sleep of 7-8 hours daily is a must. Swimming-

Wearing of swimming goggles prevents allergy /irritation due to the chloride in the waterApplication of kajal-

Children should always avoid applying kajal.Video games-

Avoid playing video games especially on mobile phones continuously for long hours as it can cause eye strain.Simple relaxation tips for eyes-

  • Wash your eyes regularly with cold water.
  • Place the cotton pad dipped in cold milk on the eyes for 15 min and then wash with cold water.
  • Close eyes and place your hands on the eyes for 5 mins.
  • Do eye exercises- look straight ahead at eye level, then slowly to right side at eye level and then to left side. Repeat it for 2 or 3 times.

-prepare a circle, first clockwise and then anti-clockwise, with the eyes. Repeat for 2-3 times.

Oversight may Hurt your Kid

Source: Hindustan Times New Delhi Edition July 01,2012 Frequently rubbing the eyes, squinting, squeezing the eyes to cocus, watching TV too close up, and stumbling often while walking. These are just some of the signs that your child’s eyesight need to be checked.“In retrospect, he sat very close to the TV screen while watching cartoons, but we did not think much of it then,” said Dr Rohan Chawla, senior consultant ophthalmologist, Max super-specialty Hospital, Saket, whose three-and-a-half-year-old son, Ronit, was prescribed spectacles a few days ago.They discovered his vision was weak by chance. “I had taken my eight-year-old daughter for an eye check-up and he was with us. He missed some letters while reading the chart. On investigation, I found out he had less power in one eye,” said Dr Chawla.
Although annual medical check-ups at schools are helping pick up refractive eye problems in children, few parents are taking their children for detailed eye tests to rule out other eye disorders and defects.“Vision testing can be done when a child starts speaking, but it is necessary to make children undergo comprehensive eye checks up just before they start school around the age of three years,” said Dr Ritika Sachdev, additional director medical services, Centre for Sight chain of eye hospitals.“A simple chart-reading test from a distance of about six metres can detect defects in eyesight. Most children who comes to us have complained of not being able to read blackboards from the last bench or not copying from blackboards correctly,” said Dr Chawla.“Once a child has glasses, he will have to continue wearing them for life. No medicine can help. And not wearing them will result in a complicated condition called lazy eye, wherein the stronger eye overtakes the weaker eye, which becomes incurable with age,” said Dr Chawla.In most cases, myopia (the minus number) increases till about 18-20 years — corresponding with the body’s growth — after which it stabilises.
The first decade of a child’s life, when the brain is learning to see, is best suited to treat the lazy eye condition. Once a person gets older, treatments currently available cannot cure the problem. This condition is commonly treated by putting a patch on the stronger eye so that the child learns to use his weaker eye.“Parents and school teachers play a crucial role in ensuring that the child doesn’t feel awkward moving around with a patch on one eye,” said Dr Sachdev. The treatment can last from few months to a year.All that parents need is to stay alert to early signs so that there is no delay in child’s treatment.


Source: The Times of India New Delhi Edition March 06,2013

New Delhi: Conjunctivitis, once considered self-limiting and harmless, is fast turning into a chronic condition which takes months and in some cases almost a year to go. A change in the strain of virus causing the infection is to blame for this, ophthalmologists suspect.


What’s worrying the experts more is that the viral infection which earlier inflamed the conjunctiva — a thin membrane that covers the inner surface of the eyelid and the white part of the eyeball — is now affecting the cornea as well.
“Many patients who suffer from viral conjunctivitis develop pointed spots on the surface of the cornea — the transparent outer layer covering the iris (the coloured part of the eye) and the pupil. The eyes become sensitive to light,” Dr A K Grover, chairman, ophthalmology, at Sir Ganga Ram hospital, said. He added, “Infection and scarring of the cornea can lead to permanent eye damage.” Normally, eye flu symptoms are milder — itchiness, redness and swollen eyelids — and they tend to go away within 4-5 days.
Grover said he recently treated a 24-year-old interior designer, who had developed severe scarring of the cornea over four weeks because of conjunctivitis. “She had redness in one eye which spread to the other in two days and caused pain in the eye, difficulty in seeing and itching. Despite all medications, tear substitutes, antibiotic eye drops and cold compress, the symptoms have not gone away completely,” the doctor said.
Grover said more than 50 strains of viruses cause conjunctivitis, but recently the prevalence of one particular type — adenovirus 8 — has been observed. It is causing increased severity.

<>The experts said conjunctivitis, common during the rainy months, is now seen round the year. “Ours is a referral centre. Mostly, patients with severe illnesses come to us. But these days we are getting many conjunctivitis patients who complain of severe complication. This could be because of a change in the virus strain,” Dr R V Azad, chief of the R P Eye Centre at AIIMS, said.
A sharp, deep pain in the eyes and sensitivity to light in patients suffering from eye flu should not be ignored. “One must consult an eye specialist if symptoms persist for over a week,” Dr Sanjay Dhawan, eye specialist at Fortis Vasant Kunj, said.