Eye Trauma in Paediatric Age
Eye trauma is a medical problem that may affect future quality life due to the unpredictable nature of an eye injury as well as to associated visual loss risk. Children are especially susceptible, with eye trauma being one of the main monocular blindness causes in paediatric age.
Male preponderance is the rule. Younger children tend to suffer accidents at home, while older ones are more likely to have it when doing sports.
Prevention is the only way to avoid eye trauma and diminish its morbidity. It is thus fundamental to advice and educate parents and children about prescription and use of protection eyeglasses adapted to their specific activities.
There are several circumstances making eye trauma a common problem among children:
- Lack of experience, which hinders capacity to prevent dangerous situations that may lead to injuries
- Immature motor skills and tendency to imitate adult behavior
- Curiosity and peer pressure to develop risk-prone activities
Such facts point to the need of adult supervision and adoption of preventive measures aiming to reduce risk at home, school and during sports activities. There is an amblyopia risk in any eye or orbital trauma that subsequently prevents proper eyesight to children. The younger the patient is, the greater the risk of developing it. Hyphema, vitreous hemorrhage or chronic eyelids abnormalities are relatively harmless for adults but may have severe visual consequences in a small child. Therefore, immediate visual rehabilitation is vital to avoid permanent visual loss caused by secondary amblyopia.
Getting a story is really important. Unfortunately, children are often sparing with stories, especially when feeling pain or being scared. For this reason, ophthalmologist’s clinical skills are extremely important to try to recreate a story as precisely as possible, as well as to reach successful diagnosis and quickly implement a proper treatment.
Sources: American Academy of Ophthalmology; American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus; European Paediatric Ophthalmological Society; World Society of Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus