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Poor antenatal care, excessive use of over-the-counter drugs cause eye defect in children -Optometrist

Nosakhare Odia, the chief executive officer of Infinity Vision Eye Clinic on Wednesday hinged the rising eye defects among children on poor ante-natal care, excessive use of over-the-counter drugs.

Ordia who spoke in an exclusive interview with BusinessDay in Benin also attributed the caused to poor health habits in mothers, poor environmental health and genetic factors.

The Optometrist further attributed cultural and parental influence as major challenges hindering physical examination of their children’s eyes.

According to him, most parents prevent their kids from the eye test because he or she is too young to wear a corrective lens.

He, however, called on government and relevant authorities to make eye screening compulsory for pupils before they begin their early childhood education

While lamenting the high prevalence in eye defects among children noted that health challenging requires urgent attention.

“To reduce visual impairment and improve physical examination, the government should make it compulsory for pre-school children to undergo eye test.

“There is a correlation between poor vision and poor academic performance,” he said.

He, however, stressed the need for a regular eye test at least once in every two years, good nutrition to the children as well as universal access to good health care services through the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

He opined that short-sightedness, myopic-Astigmatism, long-sightedness and hyperopic-Astigmatism are the major eye defects affecting children, adding that short-sightedness is the most prevalent.



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