JulEYE Shifts Focus to Kids Eye Health

Optometrists are urged to speak to their patients about the importance of monitoring children’s eye health during JulEYE – the annual eye health awareness campaign run by RANZCO (Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists).
Now in the third week of JulEYE, RANZCO Fellow, Professor Frank Martin AM said parents are uniquely placed to detect the signs of their children’s potential vision problems.

“Contrary to popular belief, eye disease is not just an affliction of the elderly, it can cause vision loss in babies, children, teenagers and adults alike.

“The first eight years of a child’s life are critical for eye development. If problems are not picked up during this time, damage and vision loss can be permanent.”

Despite 75 per cent of vision loss being preventable or treatable, many Australians are still not finding out if eye disease is part of their family history to determines if theirs, or their children’s eyesight is at risk.

“It’s incredibly important parents find out about their family eye history by having a conversation with parents and grandparents on both sides of the family to see if there is a genetic history of eye disease,” said Professor Martin.

“If there is a history then an eye check is imperative.”

He said signs of change to a child’s eyesight or habits include rubbing eyes, headaches or bad concentration. “Testing is the most effective way to identify problems early,” said Professor Martin.