Every minute one child goes blind in this world. The situation is made worse by the fact that 54% of this blindness is reversible.
In pursuit of our commitment to reduce childhood blindness with quality eye care services, a full fledged pediatric ophthalmology unit was started in collaboration with ORBIS which is an international non-profit organization committed to reducing childhood blindness in the 0 – 16 year age group.
What is the need for a separate unit for children? The eye of a child is not just a small adult eye, but it has several aspects unique to this age group. The treatment of several ailments including refractive errors, lazy eye (amblyopia), squint, pediatric cataract, pediatric glaucoma, ptosis and several other childhood disorders is being done with a view to providing lifelong vision to the children
The department is equipped with all the instruments and devices needed in such a setup. Vision screening charts specially designed to check vision in the very young children have been procured. These include Lea® gratings and symbols. Other special tests of vision like Worth 4 dot torch and Randot® stereoacuity charts are also available. A separate play area has been created with special emphasis on child safety. We have world class operating theatres with anesthetist back up. Over a thousand children have already undergone surgery for various eye diseases at our institute.
Early detection of eye problems is essential to prevent lifelong blindness. With this view in mind, school screening program was started in August 2007. Our committed team carries out the program in and around Raipur.
Common problems in school going children:
What can affect a child’s eye?
• Premature babies: Any child born before 32 weeks of pregnancy or where the birth weight is less than 1500 grams is at risk of losing vision due to ‘Retinopathy of prematurity’. Timely intervention with lasers or an eye surgery can save many of these eyes. For that to happen, such children should be examined within 4 weeks of their birth or 32 weeks after conception, which ever is earlier.
• Common eye problems in infancy and preschool age:
All these conditions carry a risk of lifelong blindness if not intervened early.
• Common problems in school going children: Though any of the conditions presented above can afflict this age group also, it is refractive errors and amblyopia (Lazy eye) that take centre stage in this group.