Prepared by Dr Hazlita Dato' Mohd Isa
Consultant Opthalmologist, Cataract, Uveitis & Medical Retinal Specialist
Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur
Caring for your child’s eyes has never been more important than in today’s digital age. Screens are used for everything from homework to watching shows to playing games. Learning to identify the signs of vision impairment in your child will make it easier to advocate for early treatment.
Use of Digital Device and Eye Problems
1 in 4 children have a vision problem. With extended use on digital devices, more and more children are becoming affected by myopia or short-sightedness. If your child requires glasses, make sure the prescription is reviewed every year. Never assume that your child’s vision is OK if they do not complain. Eyewear for children is also available with lenses featuring digital eye strain reducing capabilities. Discuss your child’s digital habits with your doctor to find the right solution. Dry eyes and eye irritation are closely linked to prolonged use of gadgets. Lighting on digital devices can cause premature aging of the eye and accelerate macular degeneration in young children. If your child complains about itchiness or pain in their eyes, do not treat it with over the counter prescription medication. Always consult your doctor for an accurate diagnosis and the right treatment.
Children can also develop a condition called amblyopia or commonly known as “lazy eye”. The key to repairing a “lazy eye” is an early diagnosis. If this condition is addressed early (during childhood), there is a greater chance of a complete recovery. It is important to understand that your child’s “lazy eye” will not “get better” or go away on its own. If this condition is not diagnosed and treated by the age of 10, treatment is prolonged, often lasting for years. In addition, when a “lazy eye” is not identified and treated until adulthood, the chance of a full recovery is less likely. We all want nothing more than for our children to be happy and healthy in all ways. Every child needs an annual eye check up. Make vision care and eye checks part of your child’s routine medical care to ensure that your child’s eyes are properly cared for.