Children's glasses and back to school. From myth to reality.

My son sees well for his age. Vision plays a key role in learning and development. It accounts for about 80% of all the information we receive. About 20% of school-age children have vision problems that can impair their school performance. In reality, a child's visual ability varies with age. For example, soon after birth the ability to focus is poorly developed and does not go beyond 30 cm, which is the distance from the mother's breast to her face. After 1 month he can see at about 60 cm and at 3 months he can follow objects and identify his mother's face. Adult visual acuity is only reached between 4 and 6 years of age (10/10). But for this to be possible it is important that there are no associated eye diseases, strabisms or refractive errors that cause a difficulty or inability to focus images on the retina and that can be corrected with glasses. When these are present, the child may apparently see well at a distance but poorly at close range, may have difficulty reading, switch eyes at close range, or see only in one eye or poorly in both.
My son is too small to wear glasses. In fact, glasses can be needed at any age. If your eye doctor has prescribed glasses, it's because it's really important that your child wears them. When they are not worn at the right time, they can cause serious problems. When the image does not focus well on the retina because the child needs glasses but does not wear them, the eye may not "learn to see" and the images are not formed in the brain. The child may see poorly for the rest of his or her life, in one eye or both eyes, if correction is not done in childhood. In addition to amblyopia, the child may experience fatigue, eye fatigue, and above all difficulty in learning. So when should my child be seen by the doctor? There should always be a summary examination of newborns in the delivery room, and a more complete examination by six months of age, done by the pediatrician, who will direct them to the Ophthalmologist if he/she considers it necessary. At 2-3 years of age the child should be directed to a child eye screening or consult the Ophthalmologist. There should also be an observation by the eye doctor at preschool age (4-5 years old).
Glasses can be bad for eyes that get lazier. And outdated glasses can also do even more harm. In reality, these are two myths. Glasses don't damage your eyes or make them lazier. And if the prescription is not the right one, they don't harm the eyes either, but here the glasses are not doing their job properly and symptoms such as stinging eyes, tearing, tiredness, difficulty focusing well, concentration problems, and learning problems can appear.
Getting too close to the TV is bad for the eyes. In reality, getting too close to the TV usually means that the child may be seeing poorly in the distance and needs to be seen by the eye doctor.
Excessive use of cell phone, tablet, computer screens can be harmful. It's true. Excessive use of screens on cell phones, computers, tablets is associated with increased myopia, fatigue, eye fatigue, sometimes headaches. It is highly recommended that, in addition to using the necessary correction, children have daily outdoor activities that alternate with screen use. The maximum amount of screen time advised for a child (not including schoolwork) varies with age. Before the age of 2, your child should not be exposed to screens. From 2 to 5 years old, they can use up to 1 hour a day. After that, no more than 2 hours a day. The reason for these recommendations is not only ocular in nature. It also includes multiple aspects associated with the child's development.
Dr. Rufino Silva, Ophthalmologist, Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra and Clinical Director: CLIORS Lda.

Source:"Diário de Notícias", September 2022