Tuesday, 12 July 2011

JulEYE and your child's sight

As you know my five year old,Sam, has worn prescription glasses since he was 20 months old.

We didn't detect a problem ourselves apart from the white eye reflection which I picked up in my photos when he was 11 months old. I was terrified *.

Sam has a genetic disease "Neurofibromatosis 1" - which can result in an optic glioma, his eyes were being already being checked (initially every 3-4 months) to detect them early if they occurred.

Fortunately while he hasn't had an Optic glioma , he does have myelinated retinal nerve fibres plus myopia (causing nearsightedness).
I still get photos with a white eye reflection - potentially a serious symptom of some eye diseases.

I know what Sam's is - myelinated retinal nerve fibres plus myopia - white fibres cover his lens. It has affected his vision though wearing glasses helps corrects this. I just hope he doesn't end up with a turned eye ('cross eyes' -like me) because when a child has vision issues that go undetected it can cause the brain to switch off that eye (like lazy eye).

It was only on subsequent visits they found he was longsighted in his other eye. I am glad we were having his eyes checked. Sam may still need a patch for one eye to strengthen his weaker eye.

When I received an email asking me to mention about JulEYE I immediately had to share it.

Why ?
Every 65 minutes, an Australian loses part or all of their vision – this may explain why one third of Australians list blindness as their most feared health condition alongside cancer. Yet the majority of Australians do not get their eyes tested regularly, despite the fact that 75% of vision loss is preventable or treatable. The Eye Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation, is once again encouraging all Australians to get their eyes tested in July as part of its annual ‘JulEYE’ campaign kicking off on July 1.

Each week of ‘JulEYE’ will focus on a different aspect of eye health. The third week will be focused on children’s eye health and encouraging parents to have their children’s eyes tested and be aware that vision problems are not exclusive to the elderly only and can affect babies and young children. 

As a mother,  who has faced such issues I wanted to share this.I am aware that is quite widespread in Australia.

Undetected vision problems are estimated to affect one in four Australian children. Parents need to be aware of the importance of children’s eye health and that regular eye checks are just as important to a young child’s overall health and wellbeing as other regular health checks, therefore, good eye health beginswith testing from birth. 

The Eye Foundation is asking all Australians - no matter their age - to get their eyes tested this julEYE, and place eye tests every two years on their family’s calendar of regular medical checks. 

AS parents we need to protect our children’s vision

Kirk Pengilly is the ambassador for ‘JulEYE’, as well Australian country artist, Lorin Nicholson and many other young, inspirational Australians currently battling eye disease.

The eye foundation would love others to mention this and help spread the word about this great cause!

For more information or to link to the Eye Foundation website please go to www.eyefoundation.org.au

They are also getting social this year so you can:

   Follow on Twitter- @EyeFoundation;
   Like on Facebook-  The-Eye-Foundation FaceBook Page; and
   Chat to them on their blog- EyeSiteBlog.com
*Everyone please note - white eye reflection is not normal and you should get a referral to an Opthamologist asap if you see it in your photos. It could be life threathening if left unchecked. 
PPS I can't stress enough how important sight is. I am almost blind in one eye for a completely different reason (head injury as a child at school with undiagnosed partially detached retina).I have peripheral vision but a huge blind spot in my central vision.

This is a non sponsored community announcement - because it is so important to me.
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