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What leads to Refractive Errors in Children?

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Dr. Sean S Da Silva, Medical Superintendent, Cornea, Cataract, and Refractive Surgeon, The Eye Foundation, Bangalore India talks about the common eye problems seen in children.

Refractive errors are vision problems that arise due to changes in eye shape that prevent the eye from focusing properly. The change in eye shape can include the length of the eyeball, corneal shape changes or ageing of the lens.

The common refractive errors include:

  • Myopia (nearsightedness): The distance vision is blurry, but the close vision is clear. It is inherited and discovered in childhood.
  • Hyperopia (farsightedness): The close vision is blurry, but the distance vision is quite clear.
  • Astigmatism: An individual with astigmatism experiences distorted or blurred vision. It causes blurry vision at all distances.

Everyone, especially children should be examined for any refractive errors. A child is asked to read a chart with different lenses, to find out the issue. It is possible to have more than one refractive error at the same time.

“A child might experience difficulty in seeing, reading or experience blurred vision. Some other symptoms can include headaches, eyestrain, double vision, squinting, haziness, glare or halos around bright lights. Most often, poor academic performance could be a result of weak eyes. A child might be facing difficulties while reading and seeing, but is unable to pinpoint the cause of it. Parent and teachers should get the child’s eye tested for vision problems as soon as possible.”

Refractive errors are usually corrected by prescription glasses or contact lenses.

Contact your eye doctor immediately if you notice any sudden changes in vision.

Further Reading

Refractive Errors: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

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