Vision problems about infants and children

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An explanation of congenital vision problems in premature infants

Statistics show that premature infants are more susceptible to organ damage including some eye problems. One possible reason is that people’s visual system starts to develop while they are still in the womb. A mother’s ten month of pregnancy is critical for infant’s well being in the long run. The full development of visual ability also relies greatly on this period. It is quite understandable that premature infants are at higher risks of developing congenital visual problems.

A new good method to detect congenital ROP

For example, an eyesight-threatening eye disease named retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) occurs in one third of premature infants. Good news is that there is now a new method for detecting this disease. Researchers in Sweden have developed a model named WINROP, which is used to measure infants’ weight and analyze their IGF-1 levels in blood. IGF-1 is linked to both ROP and infant weight gain. The model has been reported to determine an infant’s risk of suffering ROP by tracing its weight gain process. This determination can be achieved at a time earlier than an assessment from an ophthalmologist and certain eye exams can also be eliminated.

Pirenzepine gel administration slows down kids’ myopia progression

At the American Academy of Ophthalmology annual meeting in 2008, some experts presented that pirenzepine gel administration twice daily can slow down the progression of myopia in children. This encouraging result was based on a two-year follow-up of 84 children aging from 8 to 12. Those children with pirenzepine treatments had shown much slower myopia progression. However, these drugs still need further FDA clinical trials, which could cost nearly $50 million.

Children need eye exams and sunglasses

Eye exams are essential for children in detecting vision-threatening conditions such as amblyopia. Nevertheless, a survey including 3,930 US citizens conducted by VSP Vision Care has pointed out that about 76% of children under 5 years old have never received a comprehensive eye exam. In addition, the survey has also found a worrying problem about sunglass use in children. Only 30% of children wear sunglasses outdoors, compared to 68% of adults. This is a concerning issue because most adults are neglecting their kids’ need for sunglasses.