Warning that children with rare eye disorders are being 'written off'

Jay Self a consultant paediatric ophthalmologist at Southampton Children’s Hospital

Jay Self a consultant paediatric ophthalmologist at Southampton Children’s Hospital

First published in News

A SOUTHAMPTON eye expert has warned that children with a rare eye disorder are “being written off”.

Jay Self, a consultant paediatric ophthalmologist at Southampton Children’s Hospital, insists simple interventions which can improve the lives of young patients with nystagmus are being overlooked.

He believes some doctors are failing take steps to treat the condition, instead focusing on many of the associated diseases that often make it complicated to treat.

The condition causes the eyes to wobble and creates strobe vision, which makes it difficult to see moving objects, recognise familiar faces or perform everyday activities such as playing with toys and friends.

But while there is no cure, more than 50 per cent of patients who have no other medical conditions, Mr Self fears some doctors “run out of ideas”.

He said: “It is understandable doctors will focus on diagnosing associated diseases and excluding treatable causes as a priority, but that does not mean the rest should be simply written off.”

Simple things like fitting children with correct glasses and contact lenses, or sitting them on the correct side of the classroom, can all help improve life for sufferers.

He added: “The children we see in clinic today with nystagmus will be working age for 50 years or more, so can we afford to disregard them as being beyond help?”

Mr Self, who works in partnership with three charities - IN-vision, Nystagmus Network and the Gift of Sight Appeal - will be presenting on the latest developments in clinical and genetic nystagmus research at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust’s children's research evening on Thursday (FEB20) between 6pm and 8pm.

For more information call 023 8120 3487.

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