The National College of Opticians-Optometrists of Spain (CNOO) has recommended that fathers and mothers go with their children to an optical health establishment at the beginning of the school year in order to carry out a visual check-up to identify eye problems in time that may negatively affect academic performance, as is the case of amblyopia. According to data from «White Paper on Visual Health in Spain 2022» of the General Council of Colleges of Opticians-Optometrists (CGCOO), amblyopia or lazy eye is a visual disorder that affects more than 100,000 children in Spain.
In addition to this visual problem, there are others such as refractive defects (myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism), strabismus or alterations in the accommodation-convergence relationship that also influence the performance of minors. In fact, it is estimated that 30 percent of school failure cases are related to unidentified vision disorders.
In this sense, optimal vision at an early age “is key to guaranteeing good results in the school stage and the correct development of children, since it is the main channel of information entry,” warns the dean of the CNOO, Eduardo Morán. In addition, the expert assures that during childhood it is “easier to prevent and rehabilitate any alteration related to visual development.”
This is how it manifests
Amblyopia is characterized by a central vision loss (whether visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, binocularity, or motion perception, among others) potentially reversible, resulting from abnormal or inadequate stimulation of the visual system during a critical period of early human development. Depending on the cause and the time of its establishment, it can be moderate or severe.
However, lazy eye is not only a problem in visual acuity, it is also affects the quality of life and self-esteem of the childso its “early detection and timely treatment are decisive to improve visual efficiency and allow the child to recover or acquire skills as soon as possible,” warns Eduardo Morán.
When to go for review
Childhood amblyopia is a syndrome that compromises vision and, in most cases, does not present any symptoms. This makes it difficult to identify if you do not go to an optician’s health facility for a complete visual examination with some frequency.
The CNOO has drawn up a list of warning signs, aimed at families and schools, which indicate that something is wrong. Faced with any of these signs, it is essential to put yourself in the hands of the professional optician-optometrist.
Among them, there is deviation of an eye at any distance; winking of an eye when the child goes outside or when he reads; continuous rubbing of the eyes; headaches after near effort; the child reports blurred vision or double vision at some distance; low reading comprehension; poor eye-hand coordination; gets too close when performing close tasks; and poor school performance.