The eye works like a camera. It has an opening at the front (pupil), a focusing mechanism ( the cornea and lens) and a light sensitive portion at the back (retina).
When light rays are not focused on the retina, a refractive error is said to be present.
A child can have more than one refractive error. The following are refractive errors that are found in children.
Myopia is commonly known as Near Sightedness. It is a condition where the image of a distant object becomes focused in front of the retina. Myopia is the most common refractive error found in children. Here, distant objects appear out of focus and blurry to the child. Eyeglasses and contact lenses help to improve vision.
Commonly known as Far Sightedness, Hyperopia is a refractive error where the image of a distant object becomes focused behind the retina. Here, close objects appear out of focus and may cause headaches, eye strain and /or fatigue.
Children who have hyperopia may lose interest in academic work and school in general.
Astigmatism is a condition in which an abnormal curvature of the cornea can cause two focal points to fall in two different locations, this makes objects both close and at a distance appear blurry. Astigmatism sometimes present in combination with Myopia or Hyperopia. Some symptoms of astigmatism include: Headaches, Eye strain, and /or fatigue, rubbing of the eyes and difficulty in reading.
Refractive Errors cannot be prevented. However, early detection and treatment is advised.
Parents are advised to take their children to see their optometrist once a year.
Uncorrected Refractive errors can lead to Lazy Eyes.