Eye Health In Children
Babies can be born with eye diseases and vision problems. The most important eye diseases are congenital cataract and glaucoma. Every baby should have their first eye exam between 3 months and 1 year old.
If you notice changes such as whiteness or blurring in your baby's eyes, consult your doctor. Premature babies born before 32 weeks and weighing less than 1.5 kilograms should definitely have their eyes checked 1 month after birth. Screening for retinopathy of prematurity must be done.
If there is a family history of visual impairment, lazy eye and genetic eye diseases, it is absolutely necessary to consult an ophthalmologist.
When visual defects (myopia, astigmatism, hyperopia) and strabismus noticed in early childhood are corrected, lazy eye is prevented. If lazy eye has developed, visual acuity can be increased with treatments (such as glasses, closure treatment). It should not be forgotten that vision problems in schoolage children may affect their school success. The frequency of follow-up after the first examination is determined by your doctor.
Diabetic retinopathy is the name given to eye changes due to diabetes. Causes such as the duration of diabetes, high blood sugar level, hypertension, and high cholesterol level play a role in the development of diabetic retinopathy.
In the early period, small vessel bubbles (microaneurysm) form in the blood vessels in the retina. As the retinopathy continues to progress, leaks and bleeding from the blood vessels in the retina into the surrounding tissues begin to occur. If these leaks affect the visual centre called the macula, changes in visual acuity may occur. As retinopathy progresses, the capillaries in the retina can no longer carry enough oxygen. In this case, the body starts to form new blood vessels, but because these vessels are fragile, they may cause intraocular haemorrhage (vitreous haemorrhage). Symptoms such as a sudden decrease in visual acuity and seeing floating spots in the eye may be a sign of intraocular haemorrhage. At this stage, argon laser photocoagulation treatment and if there is accompanying macular oedema, intraocular injections are made to maintain and increase visual acuity as much as possible.
If blood sugar is tightly controlled, it is possible to prevent retinopathy by treating other accompanying diseases (such as hypertension, hypercholesterolemia). However, the most important thing is the eye fund examination, which should be done regularly. Optical coherence tomography (OCT), fundus fluorescein angiography (eye angiography) are the examinations that can be applied after a detailed examination of the bottom of the eye.
The frequency of examinations is determined by your doctor according to the stage of retinopathy.
Macular degeneration / Age-related macular degeneration
The macula is the region of the eye with the highest visual acuity. The macula must be healthy in order to be able to do fine work such as reading, driving, and threading a needle.
Symptoms of the disease:
It can be listed as decreased visual acuity, crooked or broken straight lines, needing more light, difficulty in recognizing faces, and impaired central vision.
Risk factors: As the name of the disease suggests, the first risk factor is age. The risk is significantly increased in people aged 55 and over, especially if there is a family history of macular degeneration. Smoking, hyperlipidaemia, and obesity are other risk factors that can be corrected.
There are 2 types of the disease: dry type and wet type.
In dry type disease, deposits formed in the macular region may cause changes in visual acuity over time. Visual acuity can be maintained by supporting the yellow spot with various vitamin supplements.
In wet-type disease, abnormal vascular tangles, which should not be under the macular region, form and cause oedema and bleeding in the macula. In such cases, the progression of the disease can be stopped and visual acuity can be increased with intraocular injections.