In the week in which Children’s Day is celebrated, more than thinking about which toy to buy for the little ones, it is important to take advantage of the date to reflect on the health care of the kids. Dr. Cassiana Parise, from the Hospital de Olhos Sadalla Amin Ghanem, a company belonging to the Opty Group in Joinville (SC), advises on the diseases that most affect children’s vision and highlights the increase in myopia in children through the use of smartphones, video games and tablets.
The first assessment in childhood occurs still in the maternity ward, with the eye test performed by the pediatrician, which serves to early diagnose serious illnesses in the baby, such as congenital cataracts, congenital glaucoma and even eye tumors. After that, without problems being diagnosed, the recommendation to perform the first complete examination with an ophthalmologist is close to 6 months of life. Since everything is normal, an annual evaluation is sufficient.
Amblyopia – It is the failure to develop vision in one or both eyes. It can occur due to anisometropia (difference in degree between the eyes), high ametropias, strabismus, childhood cataracts or other diseases that affect eye development. Most of the time, the child has no symptoms, the disease is usually diagnosed in consultation with the ophthalmologist.
The initial treatment aims to correct the cause of amblyopia, which can be via glasses, cataract surgery, or others, according to the case, as well as the use of occlusion (tampon) to stimulate the development of vision.
Strabismus – It is the ocular deviation, which can appear at birth or during childhood. If caused by an imbalance in muscle forces (in the muscles that move the eyes), treatment is surgical. The main sign is ocular deviation, usually from a wide angle.
Another cause of strabismus is high hyperopia, which can generate accommodative strabismus. In this situation, treatment is with the use of glasses. “The child may have difficulty concentrating mainly on activities that require close vision, frequent headache and eye strain”, says the ophthalmologist.
Ametropias (myopia, astigmatism, hyperopia) – These refractive errors indicate the need to wear glasses in childhood. According to the Opty Group ophthalmologist, it is very common to deal with cases in which the parents say that the child “does not like to study or is lazy”, but when carrying out the evaluation, there is a need to use corrective lenses and that the fact that the child does not see well is what is discouraging him.
“It is important to take the child to the ophthalmologist regularly, from birth, especially at the beginning of school life, so that problems that affect vision do not hinder their development”, reinforces the specialist.
According to the expert, it is worth remembering that recent studies have specifically linked the excessive use of electronics with the increase in cases of myopia, the difficulty in seeing objects that are far away, in childhood. In Brazil, in 2014, a study carried out by the Brazilian Council of Ophthalmology showed that 21% of children between 9 and 13 years old who used a computer or video game for six uninterrupted hours developed some degree of myopia. “For each age, there is a recommendation for the ideal time to use electronics. The ophthalmologist can advise on these limits ”, explains Dr. Cassiana Parise.
Studies also show that outdoor activities and exposure to the sun help to protect my eyes from myopia. This was the conclusion of researchers from Sun Yat-sen University, in China, in a scientific article published in 2015, in The Journal of American Medical Association.
“One of the main factors related to the increase in myopia today seems to be the lack of exposure to direct sunlight, as children who study hard and use smartphones, computers or tablets for many hours have less opportunities to play outdoors, being less exposed in the sunlight. For this reason, they present a greater risk of developing myopia ”, he explains.
Formerly called Hospital de Olhos do Brasil (HOBrasil), the Opty Group was born in April 2016 from the union of ophthalmologists and the investment fund Pátria, giving rise to a pioneering business in the ophthalmological sector in Brazil. The group applies a new model of associative management that allows it to expand negotiating power, gain in scale and access to high-cost technologies, preserving the performance of humanized ophthalmology and offering state-of-the-art treatments and services in different regions of the country. In the format, the doctor maintains his participation in strategic decisions, keeping the focus on the practice of medicine