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Down syndrome (DS or DNS), also known as trisomy 21, is a genetic disorder typically associated with physical growth delays, mild to moderate intellectual disability, and characteristic facial features. It is caused by the presence of all or part of a third copy of chromosome 21. March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day.

Here are some quick facts to know which can help the vision of a person with Down syndrome.

  1. Down syndrome impairs proper development of the eyes, so attention should be given to people with this challenge.
  2. Eye diseases are reported in over half of patients with downs syndrome. These symptoms range from less severe to vision-threatening diseases, such as refractive error, tear duct abnormalities, early cataract, etc.
  3. It is not always easy to detect these eye defects in them as the patients might not complain about their eyes. The patients might not know there is a defect, or might not know how to communicate the complaint. It is best to get an eye test as early as possible to know if any form of treatment is needed.
  4. Signs to look for include squinting or closing one eye shut, an unusual head tilt, crossing or wandering of one or both eyes, or sensitivity to light.
  5. Many times glasses will be recommended and the patient might need a little time to adapt to using them but eventually, it becomes easier.
  6. A lot of children with Down syndrome have tear duct abnormalities. This could present as frequent discharge and tearing from the eyes, worsened by colds. Regular massages or a surgical operation can take care of this problem.
  7. A pediatrician might not detect eye defects so it is best to go to an ophthalmologist, particularly one skilled in dealing with children with developmental delays.

 

Early detection and intervention can help in managing Down syndrome. Contact us today for more information on managing the vision of a Down syndrome patient.