Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome can affect vision.

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is one of the most preventable causes of mental retardation in children. One third to on half of children born to alcoholic mothers show signs of fetal alcohol syndrome. It is estimated that the incidence is somewhere around three per 1,000 people.

FAS can affect the eyes causing severe vision development issues. Sometimes refractive error such as myopia or hyperopia can lead to blurred vision. Glasses can correct problems caused by nearsightedness or farsightedness. However, incomplete development of the optic nerve can lead to permanent visual impairment. Other problems may include malformations of the cornea or the iris. Up to half of children with FAS manifest Strabismus (eye turn). Other possible problems include cataracts and nystagmus (involuntary eye movement). Ptosis (saggy eyelids) is also a common sign seen in children with FAS.

FAS is a serious problem that can cause permanent damage to a child's eyes.

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