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Ophthalmologist tasks parents on early detection of sight defects in children

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By Asmau Ahmad with Agency Report

Dr Chukwukodinaka Martins, an ophthalmologist with the National Hospital, Abuja, on Thursday advised parents to observe the sight of their children to prevent late detection of their sight defects Martins told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that failure to detect sight defects in infants can result to chronic sight problems.
He, however, identified different sight defects that can occur in children, adding that the early detection could check the adverse effects for remedy. “Eye problem in babies may be divided into congenital or acquired, early detection and prompt treatment of eye problems is essential and should begin soon after birth. “With examination for any structural abnormalities and assessment of vision and undetected eye defects can lead to difficulties which can persist into adulthood,” Martins said.
He said congenital problem may either be due to developmental problems, mainly secondary to genetic conditions. Some of the genetic conditions could be developed within the first 28 hours, one year till 4 years of birth. He also noted that inferiority complex could be the outcome of not detecting sight defects early in infants. Some of the defects he said could dissuade them from developing with their peers and withdrawn in the society.
“They exhibit lack of self-confidence, together with lack of educational attainment and job opportunities”, he emphasised. Martins said that in the first few months of life, infants can only see clearly objects that are eight to 10 inches from their face.
“It is till 12 to 16 weeks that their eyesight begins improving, and they start seeing things more clearly and further away. “As they develop, kids then develop depth perception, eye-body coordination, eye-hand coordination, the ability to judge distances and it was hard for children to have vision problems at this age.’’ The ophthalmologist, however, enjoined parents to regulate the frequency at which their children stay close to televisions, adding that it could contribute in damaging their eyes. “Parents should look out for cases when their children start holding objects close to their face or scratching of the eye frequently. “Also parents should always do a routine check on the sight of their children not less than the space of two years because abnormality of the eye can occur at any developmental stage,’’ said the expert.

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