Did you know repeated eye rubbing can seriously affect your child’s vision?
Children who have allergies such as sinus problems, allergic rhinitis, eczema and asthma are likely to have ocular allergies. These present with symptoms such as recurring or persistent eye rubbing, red, itchy or teary eyes, frequent blinking or light sensitivity. These can be an indication of allergic conjunctivitis.
Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin transparent layer of tissue that lines the inner layer of the eye. Conjunctivitis causes redness and itchiness of the eyes. There can be a sand-like or gritty sensation which causes the urge to rub the eyes.
Conjunctivitis, when left untreated, can lead to a more serious condition, keratoconus. This is when the front clear layer of the eye, the cornea, thins and bows forward. Normally this layer is round like a soccer ball. In keratoconus it forms a cone. This occurs because the collagen layers (protein fibres) of the cornea, that holds the shape of the cornea, weaken. This can take place as a result of the recurring or persistent eye rubbing. Keratoconus, if left untreated, progresses and it can result in the need for a corneal transplant.
Observe your children closely to look for eye rubbing or any of the other ocular symptoms mentioned above.
Diligent use of the prescribed treatment and regular ophthalmic checks will prevent the progression of the above conditions and preserve vision.
– Dr Sanjay Lalloo, Ophthalmologist