Parents can make a difference in the future of their child’s eyesight by taking easy steps, starting with early intervention.
“Parents need to be observant and proactive from birth through teenage years. Children should be seen by a pediatric ophthalmologist by the age of 2, earlier if there are abnormalities,” says Dr. Roger Ohanesian, ophthalmologist and founder of the Armenian EyeCare Project (AECP) for children.
Take time to look at your child’s eyes. Are they crossed? Do they have a jittering motion? Are both pupils black? As children age, test his or her vision at home by using the clock as the eye chart.
Be aware that the leading cause of blindness in children is eye injury. Supervise children using sharp objects like scissors. Don’t let them use bleach or other chemicals that could splash. And use sports goggles while playing ball sports.
Eye care for children in developing countries is extremely limited, but the AECP is making a differ-ence. All children and needy adults are treated at no cost throughout Armenia by the Mobile Eye Hospital. Plus, AECP trains local doctors to treat retinopathy of prematurity, a leading cause of blindness in all premature babies.
Blindness in children is devastating. However, most conditions are preventable with treatment. Pro-vide new glasses or help restore a child’s eyesight by donating to the AECP. Visit www.eyecareproject.com.