Eye Diseases That Affect Children
The Main Eye Diseases
There are many treatable or preventable eye diseases:
- Cataract is a condition that is important to detect and treat early in childhood when it occurs. It is unusual in childhood but can be treated successfully with surgery by a paediatric ophthalmologist as the surgery is more complex than for adult cataract.
- Trachoma is a disease often acquired in childhood, particularly in low resource settings. The WHO approved SAFE strategy which is a comprehensive approach to deal with trachoma through Surgery, Antibiotic distribution and targeted activities focusing on Facial Cleanliness and Environmental factors including hygiene.
- Refractive error particularly myopia (short-sightedness) causes considerable disability in children worldwide. Significant myopia usually appears before the age of 12 years. Effective management requires a public health approach to screen, diagnose and provide affordable spectacles to children early enough to prevent educational consequences.
- Trauma is a significant cause of childhood eye disease, particularly in developing countries. Unsafe agricultural and industrial practices as well as the usual hazards of play can cause eye injuries. When first aid and definitive treatment are not available, these injuries can have a poor and lasting outcome.
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