Ophthalmologist - when is the time to book an appointment?

Eyesight and eye health-related problems can occur anytime in our lives. Various generations are more prone to different diseases and conditions. When it comes to children and their eyesight, the most difficult problem is to determineif the child has a problem in the first place. At the sight of first difficulties and suspicions, the first and most important step is to determine the underlying condition.

Our Specialist Ophthalmologist, Dr. Naima Ben Moussa, was kind enough to answer a few questions. Most of these questions probably cross every parent’s mind from time to time.

  • Q: Dr. Ben Moussa, how can parents notice symptoms of eyesight disorders and diseases in their children?

    Signs of a vision problem are not always obvious. Children tend not to complain, and the parent wouldn’t necessarily be aware of the decreased vision unless it’s too poor. A child with normal vision in only one eye, appears to see just as well as a child with normal vision in both eyes. Vision screening is extremely important for detecting vision loss before it’s too late.

  • Q: Are there any direct signs or symptoms?

  • Q: Are there any direct signs or symptoms?

    Yes. There are signs and symptoms that can indicate the presence of eye problems. If parents pay close attention, they can catch sight of some of the most common eye problems. However, it is always the best to leave the final diagnosis to the ophthalmologist. Some of the signs you can look for are:

    • Unusual behaviors regarding vision – Such as squinting an eye when looking at things or tilting the head when watching TV.
    • Adjustments in behavior – Avoidance of or reading ofwork that’s near/up-close or lack of interest in distant objects and faces.
    • Headache and eye strain
    • Misalignment of the eyes (squint or “lazy eye”)
    • Complaints of double vision
    • Unusual sensitivity to light
    • “Jiggling” of the eyes (nystagmus) – Jiggling eyes are never normal, and it is always best to consult an ophthalmologist.
    • Excessive blinking
    • Teary eyes
    • Ocular redness
    • Lid swelling
    • Different pupil colors/white pupil. The pupil is the hole that allows light into the eye and should appear to be black.
    • Lack of red eye in photographs.

  • Q: Apart from strabismus and amblyopia, what are the most common eye conditions in children?

    Children are susceptible to developing vision problems and eye diseases just as much as adults are. Therefore, it’s critical to start having their vision screened at a young age to help maintain eye health.

    Amblyopia is more widely referred to as the lazy eye. Strabismus, on the other hand, is better known as crossed eyes.  Most common pediatric eyes diseases and conditions include:

    Conjunctivitis (‘Pink Eye’)

    Pink eye covers a range of highly contagious viral and bacterial infections that can all cause red, watery, itchy eyes.

    Myopia or Hyperopia

    Which is to say, near-sighted or far-sighted. Focusing problems in children can begin before they’re out of their first year, so early childhood vision screening is important. Left untreated, focusing problems can negatively affect a child with their schooling.

    Eyelid Lumps

    Depending on the cause, these might be called “styes” or “chalazions,” but the basic idea is the same. It is the case of a blockage in an eyelash follicle or in the glands of the upper or lower lids.

    Blocked Tear Duct:

    Blocked tear ducts occur in one out of every ten births. It happens when an eye’s drainage system for tears is completely or partially blocked and tears can’t drain normally. We usually suspect the presence of a blocked tear duct when we notice consistently watery or irritated eyes and chronic infections.

  • Q: What would you advise to parents who suspect that their children might have an eyesight problem? When is the time to visit an ophthalmologist?

    The best thing, whether there are signs of problems or not, is to book a consultation with an ophthalmologist. Sometimes less or more serious conditions can go undetected. On the other hand, some conditions require technical medical check-ups to be detected and confirmed.

    You can book an appointment directly, on Dubai London Clinic and Speciality Hospital premises. Another way is to call the number 800-DLC (800-352) or simply fill out the form on our website.

    Dr. Ben Moussa graduated from the Medical University of Tunis in 2007. She specialised in ophthalmic surgery and the treatment of pediatric and degenerative diseases of the eye. She did her fellowship in retinal disorders and macular degenerations at the prestigious University Department of Ophthalmology – Centre Hospitalier Intercommunal de Créteil. Also, she obtained her Diploma in Retinal Imaging and Macular Treatment from the University of Paris.

    Dr. Ben Moussa has also taken advanced training in in-situ corneal excision surgical techniques at the Mid-West Eye-Banks in the USA. This is a renowned institution, dedicated to the restoration of sight. Dr. Ben Moussa is dedicated to healing pediatric eye disorders.

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