Refractive Errors and Refraction:

Most common eye diseases seen in children are Squint, Lazy eye disease, Congenital or Pediatric cataract, Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) and uncommonly Tumors.

How the Eye Sees


Refractive errors often are the main reason a person seeks the services of an optometrist or ophthalmologist. But what does it really mean when we're told that our vision is blurry because we have a refractive error? We see the world around us because of the way our eyes bend (refract) light. Refractive errors are optical imperfections that prevent the eye from properly focusing light, causing blurred vision. The primary refractive errors are nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Refractive errors usually can be "corrected" with eyeglasses or contact lenses, or they can be permanently treated with LASIK and other vision correction surgery (also called refractive surgery).



What are refractive errors?


In normal vision, light rays from an object focus on the retina (emmetropia). Alternatively, in the presence of refractive error, the light rays get focused in front or behind the retina causing blurred vision. Under normal conditions, as the eye ball grows in size from infancy to adulthood, there will be a corresponding change in curvature of cornea and the lens, enabling the eye to remain emmetropic, at all ages.

Symptoms of Refractive Errors


  • Children can have difficulty in reading small letters on the blackboard.
  • Some children squeeze their eyes while trying to see distant objects like blackboard, television etc.
  • Children hold books close to their face while reading.
  • Children with myopia have defective vision for distance and clear vision for near.
  • They can experience eye strain while trying to read for long hours.
  • Some children with hyperopia can present with squint.
  • Children can develop swellings on the lids due to constant rubbing of the eyes to see things clearly.
  • Eye pain and headache may occur.
The child should be immediately brought to an ophthalmologist, if any one of the above symptoms.