Tuesday, December 4, 2007

3.1 Pediatrics

Some babies are born with eye problems. It seems unfair. Well, it is unfair because some problems are hereditary while others are induced in-utero or from premature birth. Fortunately, with loving parental care and societal support, most if not all grow up to be well-adjusted boys and girls.

In every nation, there are schools for the blind. While some pupils indeed were born blind and require special education, many others simply need powerful optical aids such as magnifiers and telescopes to carry on visual tasks. With gene therapy and electrode implants in the offing, even those with no vision at all may one day see again. We hope, in not so distant future, schools for the blind will all close for lack of students.

We will now discuss the etiology of more prevalent eye diseases that cause vision loss in the pediatric population, e.g.,
1. Hereditary
2. Prematurity
3. Infection and poison

And in a separate category, we will examine children with compromised binocularity:
1. Amblyopia (lazy eye)
2. Strabismus

In these cases, higher-order functions such as depth perception and stereopsis are lost. While not as debilitating as the vision loss, it is still a barrier for children aspiring to many professions that require binocularity, e.g., airline pilots. Early intervention is therefore crucial.

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