Eye disorders most common among children

November 10th, 2008 - 1:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Nov 10 (IANS) Eye disorders, along with allergies and asthma, are most common among children, according to a new report. It said more than 411,000 children suffered from with long-term eye disorders.

“Most of these children have either long- or short-sightedness,” said Robert Long of the Australian Institute’s Health and Family Welfare (AIHW). About one in six 10-14 year olds wear glasses or contact lenses to correct sight.

“There are also about 4,20,000 GP visits each year that deal with children’s eye problems, with most of these (62 percent) being conjunctivitis infections,” Long said.

In 2006-07 about 600,000 eye-related Medicare services were provided to children. The vast majority of these were for optometry services such as eye exams and prescribing glasses.

Nationally, there were nearly 9,000 hospitalisations in 2006-07 for children with eye diseases and disorders, according to an AIHW release.

Rates of congenital eye malformations decreased between 1998 and 2003, although they were still the most common reason for eye-related hospitalisation among infants. Cases of eye-related cancers and eye-related deaths remain very low for children.

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