ICYMI: The Optha-huh? Learning how to protect your kiddos’ eyes

Sheriss and Dr. Lux
Sheriss and Dr. Lux discuss children’s eye care

You may have just dusted off your glasses to read this, but have you ever thought about your children’s eye care?

Tuesday August 23, TBM partnered with Florida Society of Ophthalmology (FSO) and the For Eye Care Institute to bring you an info session all about, you guessed it, eye care!

In our discussion, we learned about a serious eye condition called Amblyopia, or “lazy eye”.  This is a condition common in young children and can cause vision loss or even blindness when not corrected early. In our discussion, we learned more about this and vision development in children, so we can prevent disorders like Amblyopia.

Dr. Luxme Hariharan (Dr. Lux) is a pediatric opthamologist based in Miami. Originally from India, Dr. Lux specializes in Global ophthalmology and spent 3 years abroad working on childhood blindness prevention. On behalf of Florida Society of Ophthalmology, she joined us to share the ins and outs of Amblyopia and other common pediatric eye disorders.

August in Florida is not just hot… it’s Amblyopia awareness month!

“It is, officially in Florida Amblyopia awareness month,” shares lux when asked about prevalent eye disorders in children.

Amblyopia, according to FSO’s resource for the disease, is defined as “when vision in one eye doesn’t develop properly, making one eye weaker than the other. It is the most common cause of permanent vision loss in children but, if caught early enough, can be prevented and treated.”

“Many people don’t realize but a child’s eye is different than an adults eye,” Dr.Lux continues, “The visual development happens a lot in those early years.”

Since the early years of development are so critical, she emphasizes the importance of early screenings in children. This especially is important when it comes to detection of preventable diseases like Amblyopia. She shares how “80% of learning is visual” and how these areas of development can be heavily affected by dealing with poor vision. ”

How do I know if my child has Amblyopia?

Some of the early warning signs Dr. Lux cites are:

  • Your child’s eye(s) turning in or outward
  • Squinting
  • Family History of poor vision as a child
  • Not observing facial expressions or making eye contact
  • holding objects close to the face
  • Complaining of headache or eye strain
  • anger or behavior issues or issues in school

While pediatricians usually check for this in well child visits, if your child exhibits these symptoms, it’s important to bring your child to the eye doctor or opthamologist for a checkup.

It’s important to note, most vision issues can be corrected or cured with glasses or other treatment. But early detection is the key- You can start bringing a child for eye exams from one month and older!

Thank you to Dr. Lux and the Florida Society of Ophthalmology for having this discussion with us to raise awareness to a commonly overlooked area of our health! For more information you can watch the full Facebook Live here, or check out the children’s eye care resources below.


  • Resources on amblyopia from the Florida Society of Ophthalmology:

https://www.mdeye.org/amblyopia

  • American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus has a full range of detail and resources on many eye issues specific to children:

https://www.aapos.org/home

  • Free eye screening events will be featured regularly at the For Eye Care Foundation page here:

https://www.mdeye.org/foreyecare#Events

  • Recommended schedule for eye screenings from the American Academy of Ophthalmology:

https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/children-eye-screening

Grace is Tampa Bay Mom's newest content creation intern. A Senior at University of Tampa, Grace looks to make a difference by making content that gives voice to important issues and topics among her audiences. Dedicated to learning and creativity, Grace's content aims to offer a youthful, fresh perspective while giving advice and insight to the Tampa community she loves so much.

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