The recent outbreak of Measles in the US once again brought to the fore, the possible dangers of the disease. Measles is more than a troublesome rash mixed in with a runny nose, cough and fever. It also poses a real threat to a child’s eyesight. Parents, who are unaware of the link between measles and vision problems, should stop and ask themselves the question, how does contracting measles affect my child’s eyesight.
The effect of Measles on the eyes
Measles is a very infectious disease that can be prevented by immunization, yet the World Health Organization lists it as one of the main causes of death in children around the globe. Measles is an inflammatory disease, and can sometimes cause swelling of the brain tissue.
The disease can also irritate the cornea of the eyes. The resulting inflammation can cause the cornea to deteriorate, and lead to scarring and eventual vision loss. In some cases the disease also affects the cells in the retina, a development that can cause irreversible blindness.
Protecting against measles
Making sure your child is immunized is the best protection against measles, because it is very contagious, and is transmitted through the air without difficulty (learn more).
If your child gets measles, remember to pay close attention to their eyes, so that you are aware of any vision changes. Also, if there is any discharge or difficulty with the eyelids, be sure to take your child to see the ophthalmologist right away.
Contact the Center for Ophthalmology and Laser Surgery, Lighthouse Point, FL, (also serving greater Fort Lauderdale), for further information on the risks of eye damage in measles. Call (954) 786-5353 to set up a consultation with Dr. Michael Loeffler, and learn more about how contracting measles can affect your child’s eyesight.