Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can young children be far sighted?"
My granddaughter, who's 8, seems like she can see a lot better from a distance than close up. Is this possible? I thought only older people had trouble seeing things up close. If she does have this problem, would she have to get glasses to correct it?
Far-sightedness (or hyperopia) involves management with the help of specialists such as ophthalmologists and others. Refractive errors occur when images are not properly focus at the retina in the back of the eye. These include myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (far-sightedness), and astigmatism (when the cornea is not perfectly spherical). In the hyperopic (far-sighted) eye, the eye is relatively too short relative to the refractory power of the cornea and lens so the focal point of the image is behind the cornea so vision is blurred. Mild hyperopia is actually common in infants and children, and this generally does not require correction with glasses. Higher degrees of hyperopia (>4 diopters) should be corrected because this could lead to ambylopia, or irreversible changes in the visual acuity during this early period of vision development. Hyperopia is corrected with a convex spherical lens the appropriately focuses the light rays on the retina. If the refractive error is severe, laser refractive surgery may be considered as the next potential step. It is not possible to make a diagnosis or treatment plan without seeing the patient. It is therefore the strong recommendation to seek a referral to an ophthalmologist or optometrist to be evaluated in person.
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