The most common cause of poor vision in children, amblyopia can lead when not treated early enough to loss of vision in one eye. This is why it is very important to have the screening done between the 9th and the 24th months.
The explanations of Professor Alain Pechereau member of the French Society of Ophthalmology.
What is amblyopia?
- Amblyopia is a disease characterized by a decrease in the visual acuity of one of the eyes (more rarely both), due to a bad treatment of information by the brain. Visual acuity depends on the quality of images sent to the brain. For the vision of each eye to be good, the visual cortex - part of the brain - must receive a clear and equal image of each eye.
How to identify amblyopia?
- Some signs should lead parents to consult an ophthalmologist without delay:
- If when your child looks, his eyes are not parallel, or if one of his eyes tends to go outward, indicating that this eye is not working and the other is working too much. Your child may be suffering from a divergent strabismus that could be the cause of amblyopia.
- If it is not detected in time, the vision of the "lazy" eye may be reduced. The amblyopic eye does not work at all, and can even become blind in the long term.
How is it treated?
- To correct the amblyopia, the ophthalmologist will prescribe glasses and the occlusion of the "good" eye, which will be put to "forced" rest with the help of a cover. This will have the effect of forcing the lazy eye to work and get back on track.
- Amblyopia when screened and re-educated before age 7 is not irreversible. This is why the screenings provided in the health record must be carried out in children, especially in the 9th and 24th months.
Up to 4 years, effective rehabilitation in 95% of cases
- The earlier the screening, the more effective, simple and fast the reeducation is. Before 4 years, the recovery is almost total (95% of the cases), but after 8 to 10 years, it is null.
- This is why the French Society of Ophthalomology (SFO) and Asnav (National Association for the Improvement of Sight) recall the importance of early detection of amblyopia. "By simple examinations, which can be performed by the child's doctor, abnormalities that are mostly reversible under treatment in the very first years of life, can reduce the prevalence of amblyopia from 3% to 1%" recalls a statement Professor Alain Pechereau member of the SFO.
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