Dr. Isaac Selase Alormele, Managing Director, Eyeroom Optical Center, Zimbabwe, has revealed that farsightedness (hyperopia) if undetected early can affect performance of children at school as most of them suffer the sight defect silently.
Hyperopia is a common vision condition in which one can see distant objects clearly, but objects nearby may be blurry, Dr Alormele, explained, adding, “so depending on where such children sit in a class it may affect their ability to see what the teachers write on the board.”
He said the degree of farsightedness influence the focusing ability, while people with severe farsightedness may be able to clearly see only objects a great distance away, while those with mild farsightedness may be able to clearly see objects that are closer.”
Dr. Alormele said this at the Ghana News Agency Tema Regional office and Ghana Optometric Association “GNA-GOA My Eyes! My Vision! campaign platform in Tema.
The fortnight initiative is a collaborative public education advocacy campaign to promote the need for people to access eye care and to draw attention to vision health.
The GNA-GOA: My Eyes! My Vision! initiative also seeks to challenge the public and policymakers to focus on vision as a health issue, which forms a critical component of mankind’s well-being but often neglected.
Speaking on “the Impact of Hyperopia on the Academic Performance of Children,” Dr. Alormele explained that children experiencing farsightedness gradually lose interest in academic work.
He said “hyperopia is a refractive error which means there is an error in how one sees things, and so when a child is farsighted, he or she feel comfortable reading from afar than closer. And anytime that child strains the eye to read from closer objects, muscles tiredness is created, which causes headaches.”
Dr. Alormele emphasised that headaches created discomfort and make such children “end up throwing their books away” which results in their poor academic performances, inability to study or read on their own, and difficulty to concentrate on books closer to them.
He said no child is dumb and so parents and guardians should pay attention to these “red flags” from children in relation to their eyes and consult an eye care specialist to clinically examine their eyes early to correct the defect of hyperopia, which can persist for the rest of their lives.
Speaking on “Computer Vision Syndrome” (CVS), Dr Kwame Oben-Nyarko, GOA Public Relations Officer, explained CVS is the term for a group of eye and vision-related problems that develop following the prolonged use of devices with digital screens.
He said devices such as computers, tablets, and smartphones put increased demands on a person’s visual system, stressing that using the devices for extended periods without breaks could cause CVS symptoms, including eye strain and headaches.
Dr. Oben-Nyarko who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Third Eye and Vision Centre, identified some common symptoms of CVS as eye strain, transient blurring of vision, burning sensation, tearing, gritty sensation, pain, and dryness of the eye.
Mr Francis Ameyibor, Tema Regional Manager, Ghana News Agency, in a welcome address said “My Eyes! My Vision! advocacy campaigns which started a year ago was aimed at educating the public on the need to take safe care of their eyes.