In India every 4 minute, a child goes blind. India has the highest number of children with blindness but very few eye hospitals with paediatric eye care facility. Loss of vision in children influences their education, employment, and social life. Paediatric Cataract is the most common treatable cause, being responsible for 10 to 30 percent of all childhood blindness. Most of them cannot afford treatment cost and make multiple visits to a paediatric eye care centre in far off places. Parents and primary eye care workers are also unaware of childhood cataract and cannot detect this condition easily; therefore a child suffering from cataract often stays at home. Restoring sight in a child who is blind from cataract depends on early detection of blind children within households and communities, treatment in a well-equipped facility and long-term follow-up care.
SGLEH has set up first dedicated Child-friendly Paediatric Eye Care Centre in North Bengal. All kinds of diagnosis and management of paediatric eye disorders like refractive error, childhood cataract, glaucoma, amblyopia, squint, retinal disorders, congenital anomalies etc.
The department has unique features like child play area, baby feeding room, well trained paediatric team and dedicated ward for children admitted for medical management. The Child Eye Care Centre is supported by ORBIS International, a global eye care organization. The Paediatric Cataract services are supported by Lions Clubs International Foundation and Bausch & Lomb.
Children with following symptoms should be examined for eye:
Watering in eye.
Abnormal eye movements
Squinting of eye
Rubbing of eyes
Abnormal head posture
Reading bookkeeping very close to face.
Difficulty in seeing the blackboard, TV from a distance
Discoloration of eye, Yellow pupils.
Babies with body deformities
We approach each patient with specialized attention and assess the problems for appropriate diagnosis and treatment strategies. The institute has facilities for all kinds of paediatric ophthalmic surgeries.
The commonly encountered eye diseases in children are:
It can be farsightedness (Hypermetropia), Short-sightedness (Myopia) or astigmatism (cylindrical error). Every child must be tested for visual acuity and for color vision at an early age.
All eye deviations should be brought to the paediatric ophthalmology clinic. Usually, it is because of some type of refractive error and once treated appropriately, patient attains a good visual acuity and parallelism.
Amblyopia or Lazy Eye
In children less than 10 years of age it can be very effectively treated by occlusion therapy. By occluding the better eye the child is forced to see from the lazy eye. Occlusion therapy with patching is the treatment of choice.