Welcome to my blog, i hope you and your families are doing well, staying safe and adhering to protocols been put in place to protect us all from the pandemic.
Today i want to discuss with you some of the impacts refractive errors have on our lives without us even realizing it, with more focus on the child education and the need for us to get our errors corrected.
According Akuffo et al in a study focusing on Availability, Awareness and Perception of Stakeholders regarding Preschool Vision Screening in Ghana, it was established that whiles guardians and teachers were aware of the importance of vision screening for preschoolers and pupils, it was hardly done in the education sector.
This is not something that is happening in Ghana only, lots of developing countries do not have any policies in place to cater for the vision of the young preschooler, pupil or student. There are instances where i have met a patient in his 50s, 60s and 70s who are now coming in for the very first time in their life to get their eyes checked. And most often than not the problems they come along with, if it is not too late then the damage may have been extensive.
What are refractive errors
When we talk about refractive errors we basically talking about what lot of people know as shortsightedness and longsighted, clinically they are referred to as myopia and hyperopia. There is the other guy called astigmatism who does not follow the general rules and can be any of the two at the same time, he also tend to cause lots of discomfort to his people.
When we are born, we are born into hyperopia and grow into emmetropia (the idea eye situation), by age 10 to 12 one's ocular may have been fully established and so they can be corrected for their refractive errors should there be one available. Refractive Errors are no disease that one should be afraid of, nor is it a disability, rather it is an impairment than can easily be corrected, we only let it become a disability when we allow it to have such significant impact on our lives so much so that we are not able to function and do what we ought to do.
Impact of RE
So when we fail to visit our optometrist for routine checkups, when we fail to take our preschooler, our ward, the pupil or the student to the optometrist for check up and they tend to have refractive errors what bad comes out of it?
Let's talk about is the academic performance of students and their morale to students. Imagine you are always having difficulties seeing the marker board in class, the teacher keeps changing your sitting because you still cannot see and your friends start complaining you are causing them to be moved around.
Eventually you are going to pretend you can see, and then you will start writing the wrong things because you cannot see, you will be getting your answers wrong as a result and your academic performance will be poor.
You will then start hating school and would give any excuse to stay home, you cannot play well with your friends because your vision is blurry and you do not want to be laughed at for silly mistakes. You isolate yourself and you grow like this. Not only will this affect your childhood but your adulthood and it may be will you for the rest of your life meanwhile the solution was so simple.
Some parents are not aware that this is what their wards go through everyday. They start hating their kids for been lazy and daft and this adds up to the weight on the child.
In your work place having an uncorrected refractive error can have detrimental effect on your productivity and effectiveness. As you continue to strain you eye everyday you may end up with some headaches and other asthenopic symptoms which are very uncomfortable. It can also pose as a health hazard and may result in you causing more harm than good to yourself.
Basically anything that you need good vision to be able to do well is a downside to having an uncorrected refractive error.
So the point of this post is to encourage you to get regular eye check ups, to take for regular eye care and to not be afraid to see your optometrist because your vision our concern and your sight is your light to the world. Feel free to let me know if you have any concerns or question in the comment section below
Thanks for reading and have a great day, Special thanks to my mentors and supporters @mcsamm, @tj4real, @armandosodano, @delilhavores, @gentleshaid, @agmoore. For further reading;
Kwadwo O. Akuffo, Mohammed Abdul-Kabir, Josiah Tsiquaye. "Availability Awareness and Perception of Stakeholders Regarding Preschool Vision Screening in Ghana" Optometry and Vision Science Journal (2018): 185131