Music students are often beset by eye problems due to genetics, bad habits, and bad nutrition. Children are not spared with kids as young as five getting corrective glasses.
During check-ups, students may come to you with a headache or blurring vision. Parents may come in to intervene saying their kids sit too close to the TV, or kids read in the car. If you are a school nurse concerned, there are Comprehensive Resources that can guide you how to deal with student health issues.
Myopia or nearsightedness is one of the most common causes of eye problems. Myopia means people can see close objects with no problems but will have problems sighting distant objects.
Nearsightedness first appears in school-age children and progresses until they get to their 20s.
Myopia has two types:
1. Juvenile-onset, moderate, simple or school myopia: Those between the ages of eight to sixteen years are the most vulnerable to getting this disorder. It is corrected by wearing graded lenses.
2. Pathologic or high-grade myopia: It begins while the child is in the womb and is associated with high refractive errors.
Although the exact causes of myopia are unknown, there are several factors associated with this condition.
Among these risk factors are the following:
1. Parental myopia: kids of parents who wear prescription glasses are at a slightly higher risk of developing myopia.
2. Near-work load: children who spend a considerable amount of time reading, playing with laptops or tablets, or watching TV may be at risk.
3. Staying indoors: recent studies suggest that spending too much time indoors can pose a significant risk of developing myopia. Vitamin D exposure improves your eye health, and its benefits can only be enjoyed when staying outdoors.
Signs and symptoms
As a school nurse, you should be watchful for possible signs of myopia. These can manifest in any of the following ways: 1) Difficulty in seeing the blackboards at school, 2) Sitting close to the TV, and, 3) Squinting while looking at distant objects.
Sometimes, the child may complain of a headache and eyestrain usually in the afternoon; but these can also occur with other visual problems like astigmatism.
There are several treatment options available for children with myopia. Among them are:
1. Corrective eyeglasses: An optometrist or ophthalmologist should assess the correct eye grade of the child. A reassessment should be made every six months.
It is not recommended for kids to use contact lenses because they are tough to maintain. And as kids love to play, contact lenses cannot provide protection for them against dust and other elements. There is also a possibility for children to lose these contacts, so eyeglasses are preferred.
2. A Vitamin A-rich diet: Vitamin A has been proven efficient for maintaining eye health, and so giving foods rich in Vitamin A is highly recommended. Some of the best sources of this vitamin include beef liver, carrots, sweet potato, kale, spinach, broccoli, butter, and eggs. For kids, it is best to source this vitamin from natural foods; not on supplements.
As with other diseases, early detection and screening play important factors in treating visual impairment that might lead to blindness. Symptoms should not be dismissed easily. Since you will be dealing with kids in a school setting, you should be prompt with your treatment assessment as kids need to get by with a lot of reading in school.