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Down’s syndrome is a genetic condition where a person has an additional extra chromosome. Chromosomes make up the genes in the human body. They are responsible for a baby’s body formation and functions from pregnancy till after birth. Biologically, every individual has 46 chromosomes at birth.

People with Down’s syndrome usually have an extra copy of one which is called Chromosome 21. This extra chromosome copy affects the development of the baby’s body and brain and this leads to lifelong visual, mental, and physical challenges. Some of the visual problems found in children with Down’s syndrome include:

  • Refractive errors due to nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. They are more likely to use glasses than other children.
  • Misaligned eyes. Many individuals with Down’s syndrome have their eyes not properly aligned and this can affect their vision, especially their ability to focus on objects and read.
  • Eyelid inflammation. This eye condition includes redness around the edge of the eyelids and the lashes becoming crusty.
  • Excessive production of tears can happen because of blocked or narrowed drainage in the eyes.
  • Cataracts. This can occur before birth or develop later in life.
  • Infantile Glaucoma. This is elevated pressure within the eye and it’s very common among babies who are born with down syndrome.

To maintain healthy eyesight and to detect and treat the above-listed eye conditions, children with Down’s syndrome should have their first eye exams from birth, then again at 6 months of age and followed up with routine eye checks based on the recommendation given by their eye doctor.

Contact us for more information on how to care for your child’s eyes.