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Today, 25% of children have an uncorrected visual disorder before entering primary school, such as amblyopia, astigmatism or myopia. And yours ? Have you checked his eyesight? What you need to know ... and see!
According to a study by DREES (Directorate for Research, Studies, Evaluation and Statistics), school doctors detected at least one visual anomaly in 25% of children aged 5 to 6 during the medical visit compulsory in large section of kindergarten. This shows the importance of early detection and good care.
Strabismus appears more readily around 6 months
- TRUE. With the naked eye, you see that the parallelism of his eyes is not perfect. In addition to the aesthetic aspect that annoys you, it is the quality of vision that is threatened. Because when a child really squints, he can see double. To avoid this inconvenience, he uses only the vision of his best-performing eye, thus neutralizing the second image of lesser quality. The "unused" eye can then seriously lose the vision of details. Strabismus may be due to a visual defect - your child is nearsighted, farsighted or astigmatic - or to an abnormality in one of the muscles providing eye movement.
- A simple test can tell you about the existence of strabismus. Shoot your baby with flash. His eyes appear red in the photo. In the center of the red circle, you can see a white point, a reflection of the flash on the cornea. If you notice that the two white dots observed on each eye are symmetrical, it means that your child has no vision defect. Otherwise, it is better to consult a specialist.
- The treatment involves working the deficient eye by neutralizing under supervision the vision of the good eye. The more early strabismus is taken care of, the better the result.
Astigmatism is easy to detect
- FALSE. An astigmatic child does not complain about his disorder. However, his vision remains distorted from near and far: he can not see in all the axes of space because of the curvature of his cornea, slightly oval instead of being round. He will then choose to make the point either on the horizontal lines, or on the vertical lines.
- You can see its astigmatism by offering, for example, a set of letters or numbers to identify. Does it really make the difference between the "l" and the "i", or between the "h", the "m" and the "n"? Does it distinguish the "8" from the "0"?
- The correction involves wearing glasses before the age of 3, but it will take several months before the eyes of your child get used to and adopt a correct vision in all directions.
Babies are naturally hyperopic
- TRUE. Moderate hyperopia is normal in the baby. It usually fades with the growth of the eyeball. On the other hand, if it is high, it can lead to strabismus. The hyperopic baby has eyes that are "out of order" on infinity. To look closely, he must focus, like a zoom on a camera. It is said that the baby converges. If he has to look very closely (about thirty centimeters) he "overconverges", in other words he sees double. He then chooses one eye (the best!), The other putting himself in a position of strabismus.
- Wearing appropriate glasses helps restore this imbalance. If you are very hyperopic, or if you have had strabismus in your family, have your baby's vision tested, it's more cautious.
If I'm shortsighted, my child will be shortsighted too
- TRUE AND FALSE. The genetic predisposition of myopia is proven. If you or the other parent has this blurred vision, it is best to consult a specialist to find out if your baby has inherited it. If this is the case, this imperfect vision (he sees evil from far, very close) will be restored by glasses or contact lenses. But some children can become myopic with time. Studies have shown that those who work or play closely are more likely to become myopic than others. The near vision "myopise". If your child is already a video game or computer addict, it is necessary that you sometimes put your eyes "by fixing from afar": it means that it does not look any more the screen for three to five seconds, the time to take a visual break!
One child may have a more "lazy" eye than the other
- TRUE. This visual asymmetry is called amblyopia. It has no particular cause and corresponds rather to a lack of use. Only one eye works. Without treatment, the weak eye can lose its effectiveness. Attention, amblyopia can go completely unnoticed.
- Perform again simple tests. Hide your child's eyes in turn. The occlusion of a healthy eye immediately leads to an avoidance movement: your child defends himself, throws his head back. Conversely, if you hide a lazy eye, you will observe no reaction. Present an object to your child, left for example. If his left eye is "amblyopic", he will have to turn his head to look with the eye that sees well. This reaction is called the sign of the top. In general, you can be alerted by an unusual leaning head, your child trying to make the most of his active eye.
- The correction is simple and consists in hiding the "good eye" in order to work the one that works badly. Around 6 months, an occlusion of twenty minutes to half an hour a day for a few weeks is enough to restore normal visual acuity. At two and a half, several hours a day can be essential. After 6 years, the vision of the amblyopic eye will remain permanently low. This shows the importance of early detection!
The view is sufficiently controlled
- TRUE AND FALSE. Visual assessments are mandatory on day 8, month 4, month 9, month 24, and age 6 before entering CP. They all have the same goal: to detect a possible strabismus, track down a visual behavior disorder. But many things can happen in your child's life. Have your eyesight checked regularly. Because any visual defect is source of fatigue, discomfort and discomfort in learning.
Maryse Damiens, with the collaboration of Pr Jean-Claude Hache, member of the scientific council of the ASNAV (National Association for the improvement of the sight)