PEDIATRIC OPHTHALMOLOGY: TREATMENT OF AMBLYOPIA, STRABISMUS, DYSLEXIA, AND OTHER VISUAL DISTURBANCES THAT AFFECT CHILDREN
The most frequent visual disturbances in children are the following:
- Amblyopia, also known as “lazy eye”. It is a visual defect that does not present particular symptoms. The child can compensate by adapting to the visual disturbance. An early diagnosis is, therefore, necessary to start an optical correction therapy and effective rehabilitative treatments before 5 years of age that are with high success rates.
- Strabismus. It is necessary to distinguish real strabismus, which is the main cause of amblyopia, from those forms of pseudo-strabismus that are linked to palpebral conformation. An ophthalmologic-orthoptic examination between 6 and 9 months of age is advised to exclude microstrabismus, evaluate the presence of binocular vision and determine the absence of congenital defects such as cataract and glaucoma.
- Dyslexia. It manifests in the difficulty in reading fluently. Children with dyslexia can read and write but only by engaging their abilities and energies to the most. Since they cannot do it automatically, they tire easily, make mistakes, and are usually left behind. It affects 3-4% of the school population (Primary and Middle Schools in Italy).
On the first visit at 3 years of age, the child is usually cooperative and can undergo an evaluation of visual acuity through highly specialized systems and refractive examinations to identify potential visual defects such as hyperopia, astigmatism, and myopia. Towards 5 to 6 years of age, a new checkup is advised.