Down syndrome and Vision

People with Down Syndrome (DS) are more likely to experience a variety of vision issues that might hinder the growth of their visual abilities. According to the study, over 50% of people with DS have ocular illness, which can range in severity from a minor diagnosis like malformed tear ducts to serious disorders like cataracts, which can result in serious visual loss. From 38% of infants with Down syndrome to 80% of kids aged 5 to 7, these problems get worse with age. Let’s see the signs, causes and ingredients that may help you to improve eyesight in children with down syndrome.

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SIgns in children with down syndrome:

Children and adults with Down syndrome may experience a wide range of eye and vision issues as a result of the condition. Some symptoms may go unnoticed when communication is poor. It is critical to be aware of subtle changes. Watch out for the following signs and symptoms:

  • Frequent squinting
  • Closing one eye
  • Unusual head tilt
  • Wandering or crossing of one or both eyes
  • Increased light sensitivity
  • Blurry vision
  • Regression in developmental milestones
  • Eyelid droop

Down syndrome children are at high risk for a variety of eye and vision disorders

Also, check Speech Difficulties in kids with Down Syndrome

COMMON EYE PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH DOWN SYNDROME:

Fortunately, we can treat many of the issues of children with Down syndrome if parents are aware of them at a young age. Proper assessment and treatment of these eye problems, can improve the quality of their lives.

Refractive errors

Children with Down syndrome are more likely to require glasses due to myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (far-sightedness), or astigmatism (an abnormality in the curvature of the cornea or lens).

Strabismus

Strabismus means misaligned eyes. It affects between 20% and 60% of children with Down syndrome. In fact it is treatable with glasses, patching, and eye muscle surgery.

Also, check Beta Carotene for Eye Care

Tearing

Excessive tear or watering of the eyes may occur in children with Down syndrome because the drainage system of the eye is blocked or narrow. A few times a day, massage the space between the nose and the eye to open the tear duct and reduce discharge. Otherwise patients may require surgical intervention in some cases.

Nystagmus

This is an involuntary back and forth, up and down, or eye shaking movement. Nystagmus affects a large number of children with Down syndrome. It generally has no effect on vision, but it can be treat if children are having difficulty in focusing to slow down the shaking.

Blepharitis

Blepharitis denotes inflammation of the eyelids. Children with Down syndrome have a higher rate of eyelid inflammation. Further, this eyelid inflammation can cause redness at the lid’s edge and a hard outer layer around the lashes.

Also, check Squint eyes in babies and kids

Glaucoma

This is a group of disorders characterised by the death of nerve cells in the back of the eye that are responsible for peripheral vision. This is frequently associated with increased eye pressure, but it is not the only variable.

Keratoconus

Keratoconus is a cone-shaped distortion of the cornea, the clear window in the front of the eye. It is common in children with Down syndrome. furthermore, it can cause blurred vision, corneal thinning, or cloudiness of the cornea, which is exacerbated by rubbing your eyes. As a result, eye rubbing should be avoided at all costs.

Cataract

Children with Down syndrome are more likely to be born with cataracts or to develop cataracts later in life. If cataracts are present, they develop slowly and require regular monitoring, as well as surgical treatment in some cases.

problems faced by children with down syndrome:

  • Academic performance – Their ability to complete academic tasks with ease and skill.
  • Attention and concentration – Sustained efforts, doing activities without distraction, and maintaining those efforts to complete the task.
  • Self regulation -The ability to obtain, maintain, and change the appropriate emotion, behavior, attention, and activity level for a task or situation.
  • Behavior – They may avoid or refuse to engage in activities requiring visual perceptual skills.
  • Frustration – With precise eye and hand tasks.
  • Avoidance – Prefer to have others perform tasks for them under their supervision rather than doing them themselves.
  • Organization – They may struggle to keep track of and organize their belongings.
HOW TO MANAGE?
  • Within the first 6 months of a child’s birth, he or she should be evaluated for strabismus, cataracts, and nystagmus, as well as visual delicacy testing.
  • Annual testing for refractive errors, strabismus, and other conditions that could result in amblyopia should be performed until the child is five years old.
  • From the ages of 5 to 13, children were followed every six months to assess the onset of a new eye or vision disorder.
  • From the age of 13 to 21 or older, patients were followed every three years to look for keratoconus refractive errors and cataracts.

Ingredients that help to improve the eyesight of children with down syndrome

ASHWAGANDHA:

This herb is an adaptogen. Ashwagandha is known to reduce anxiety and stress for better brain performance. Moreover, it increases acetylcholine levels which support better memory, mental focus and intelligence. Ashwagandha also improves communication between nerve cells and stimulates the body’s capacity to heal any nervous system damage.

BRAHMI:

Brahmi is a brain superfood that is believed to sharpen the brain by protecting cells and increasing chemicals involved in learning and memory. It acts on the CNS, where it improves eyesight, grasping power, memory, intellect, and speech, as well as correcting emotional, mood, and personality aberrations in an individual.

SHANKHAPUSHPI:

In order to improve brain functioning, shankhapushpi is an old remedy. The powerful antioxidants and flavonoids present in it improve the memory capacity, focus, concentration, calmness, alertness of an individual. Since it is a brain tonic and stimulator, people taking shankhapushpi have improve eyesight, memory, reasoning, problem-solving, and other cognitive abilities.

OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS:

There is a link between omega 3 fatty acids and early childhood brain development, according to research. These healthy fats have incredible brain-boosting properties and play an important role in improving eyesight, as well as memory, and attention span. There are many clinical studies, that omega 3 fatty acids are essential for infant vision development. DHA and other omega 3 fatty acids are found in mother’s milk and also present in some formula milks to support eye development in infants. These essential fatty acids also help to protect an adult’s eye from macular degeneration and dry eye syndrome.

(Why is Omega 3 important for your kids?)

MAGNESIUM AND ZINC:

Magnesium is responsible for nerve transmission and nerve-muscle coordination in our bodies. In other words, it guards against a child’s excessive excitement (which can be traumatic). And eye contains high level of zinc. Retina involves it in the formation of visual pigments. It may improve eyesight and reduce behavioral issues. Additionally, it is necessary for proper brain development and function, immune function, protein synthesis, and wound healing.

(How can zinc help with hair and skin health?)

NUTS:

All nuts, including almonds, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, and hazelnuts, are high in vitamin E and aid in memory enhancement. They are also antioxidants that protect cells from damage. Walnuts are high in omega 3 fatty acids and are beneficial to improve eyesight, brain function, memory, and cognitive abilities. This fatty acid is also beneficial to cognitive functions.

 (Best nuts for protein)

SEEDS:

Aside from nuts, seeds such as flax, chia, melon, sesame, and pumpkins contain potent antioxidants such as vitamin E, which protect the brain from free radical damage. Sunflower seeds have an effect on overall mood and mental processing abilities, so they are regard as a brain-boosting snack. Pumpkin seeds contain more magnesium, copper, and zinc than other seeds, which improve eyesight, concentration, and memory. One of the simplest brain-boosting foods for children to consume.

COCOA POWDER:

Pure cocoa powder (unsweetened) contains brain boosting components as it is packed with a large number of antioxidants molecules, the main is epicatechin helpful to improve cognition in studies. Hence cocoa powder is also an important brain development food for children. 

VITAMIN A and vitamin C:

Vitamin A plays a crucial role in vision by maintaining a clear cornea. Rhodopsin, a protein present in eyes that helps to see in low light is component of vitamin A. Likewise, it is key for eye care and necessary to protect your kid from any children’s eye disease. And vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects eyes against damaging free radicals and plays an important role for eye care. Moreover, it produces collagen which is important for eyes. Collagen maintaines connective tissues in eyes. It holds them together and protects them, on the other hand it helps to improve eyesight in children. (Daily requirement of vitamins)

VITAMIN E:

Vitamin E is an antioxidant which protects certain parts of the eye. It is recognize to lower the risk of developing macular degeneration and cataract, two age-related conditions. Including almonds, pistachio and walnuts in the child’s diet can improve eyesight. Studies also show that eating nuts daily is an effective home remedy to control myopia (a condition in which far objects don’t appear clear). It is one of the essential nutrients for eye care.

ANTIOXIDANTS – LUTEIN AND ZEAXANTHIN:

It helps to protect eyes from harmful bright light waves like ultraviolet rays in sunlight by absorbing excess light. Studies suggest that high levels of both in eye tissue can give better vision in dim light. Moreover, these work to protect eyes from free radicals. Natural food sources of these two are green or yellow vegetables like spinach, carrot. Non vegetarian sources include egg yolks. Additionally, for eye care, including these foods in diet is the best and easiest way.

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