Children’s Eye Health and Safety
August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month. Eye and vision screenings are important for children because, like most other health conditions, eye conditions that are caught early can be treated early.
Refractive Errors – these are the most common form of eye problems and are usually corrected with glasses or contact lenses.
- Myopia – commonly known as nearsightedness
- Hyperopia – commonly known as farsightedness
- Astigmatism – causes difficulties when trying to focus eyes
- Color Blindness – this occurs when a person is not able to see the difference between certain colors
- Amblyopia – often referred to as “lazy eye”. This condition occurs when one eye has significantly better function than the other, causing the less functional eye to drift in different directions. One possible cause of “lazy eye” is a misalignment of the eye that causes confusion and results in the brain ignoring signals that are transmitted through the effected eye.
- Conjunctivitis – non-contagious conjunctivitis is most often caused by allergies and is characterized by redness, inflammation, and itchiness.
- Pink eye – this is a contagious form of conjunctivitis caused by a virus or bacteria. Like non-contagious conjunctivitis, pink eye causes itchiness, inflammation and redness, but also can cause discharge from the eye.
- There are things that can cause eye injuries including unsafe sport practices, chemicals, and sharp objects.
- In order to prevent eye injuries it is important to remember to make sure that your child is wearing protective eyewear when playing certain sports, and keep young children away from sharp objects, cleaning products and other chemicals.
Jaime Venditti, State Coordinator, New York Health Works