Paediatric Refractive Errors: what you need to know as parents?

If you notice your child having trouble reading or sitting too close to the television, you should consider taking him or her to an eye doctor. These along with eye rubbing, squinting and lack of interest in school are often seen in children with refractive errors. Poor vision in one or both eyes during childhood can lead to the condition known as lazy eye that can cause long-term problems with your child’s vision. Here are some important things that you as parents should know about pediatric refractive errors and how they can be corrected:

eye treatment in kolkata

Importance of healthy eyes for children 

Healthy eyes and vision are extremely crucial for children. Good vision not only aids in reading, but is equally important for performance in co-curricular activities in school.

What are refractive errors?

A type of vision problem, refractive errors cause blurred vision in children as the shape of the eyes keep the light from focusing images on the retina. The most common type of refractive errors are: 

  • Farsightedness (hyperopia)
  • Nearsightedness (myopia)
  • Astigmatism

If these conditions are not corrected, they can have harmful consequences for your children.

Here we discuss in detail the common refractive errors:

Farsightedness or hyperopia

Children with hyperopia find it difficult to focus on objects close to them. However, they can clearly see faraway objects.


  • Trouble seeing objects up close 
  • Squinting the eyes a lot

Nearsightedness or myopia

Children with myopia cannot focus clearly on distant objects. Nearsightedness is the most common refractive error that is seen in children. Parents should know that young children may not be able to tell that they cannot see properly or may be they are unaware.  It is therefore important for parents to observe children and take them to an eye doctor if they are sitting too close to the TV or holding books up close in the face. 


  • Rubbing eyes
  • Sitting too close to the TV
  • Excess watering of eyes
  • Squinting


The length of the eyeball grows longer than usual. 

  • The cornea is too curved. 


Astigmatism causes blurred distance and near vision.  In many cases, astigmatism begins in early childhood.


  • Distorted vision
  • Eye strain
  • Difficulty with night vision
  • Eye rubbing
  • Trouble reading


  • Astigmatism occurs when the cornea or the lens of the eyes have an irregular curve.

How to correct the refractive errors?

Treatment for refractive errors include 

  • Prescription eyeglasses 
  • Prescription contact lenses
  • Refractive laser eye surgery

Looking for the best eye treatment in Kolkata for children?

Disha Eye Hospitals has a dedicated unit for Paediatric Ophthalmology and squint. Paediatric Ophthalmology deals with problems common to or seen in children. Our team of paediatric ophthalmologists offer the best care possible to children of all ages. 

Some of the eye conditions that our paediatric ophthalmologists and strabismologist treat include: 

  1. Paediatric strabismus
  2. Paediatric cataract
  3. Amblyopia
  4. Adult Strabismus
  5. Allergic disorders (red eye)
  6. Retinopathy of prematurity
  7. Paediatric glaucoma

Eye Healthy Habits For Your Kids

Having healthy eyes and vision can have a significant impact on your kid’s overall life be it socially and academically. Hence, it’s important to teach your child about eye health from a young age as it can go a long way in keeping his or her eyes healthy. Here are some simple eye care tips that promote good eye health among children:

Eat an eye-healthy diet: Just like the rest of the body, their eyes too need proper nutrition. As the eyes are developing, you must encourage your child to eat healthy food. Make sure your child’s diet is well-balanced and rich in nutrients like zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, and omega-3 fatty acids. Eggs, fish and dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale are good for their overall health as well as their eye health. Foods like sweet potatoes, mangoes, apricots and carrots are a great source of Vitamin A that helps the eye’s ability to adjust to the darkness.


  • Schedule regular eye exam: When a child is experiencing eye issues, it is quite possible he or she may not be able to explain the symptoms properly. Thus, keep an eye on symptoms like constant eye rubbing, holding the book to close, trouble reading the blackboard and squinting. Get your child’s eyes routinely checked as this can help detect issues early and keep children’s vision healthy.


  • Ensure accurate eyewear: If your children wear spectacles, make sure they wear them always and not just while studying. Make sure the glasses are made according to an ophthalmologist’s prescription and keep the numbers updated. Make sure you take into consideration your child’s comfort and vision clarity. Children may not be very careful with contact lenses or eyeglasses. Make sure you help them.


  • Use eye protection: Your child’s eyes need to be protected from UV rays when they step outdoors. A good quality pair of sunglasses can protect your child’s eyes from UV rays and prevent dust particles from entering the eyes. Also, make sure that they wear protective eyewear when they go swimming or playing sports.


  • Limit screen time: In today’s digital age, children spend a lot of time in front of screens, be it a tablet or a computer. The first thing you should do is to prevent your child from holding these digital devices too close to their eyes. Make sure the device is placed on a table and the distance between the eyes and the screen is at least 20 inches. Make sure that they take regular breaks from the screen.


  • Discourage eye rubbing: Children tend to rub their eyes. Rubbing the eyes not only can damage the eyes but it also increases the risk of infections like conjunctivitis if the hands are not clean. To keep eye infections at bay, encourage your child to wash his or her hands, especially when they come from outside.

If you think your child is facing any eye-related problems, consult the best paediatric ophthalmologists in Kolkata at Disha Eye Hospitals. Children with eye problems often struggle with learning and may suffer from a lack of coordination when playing sports. Regular eye checkup will give your child a better chance at treatment. We offer a wide range of paediatric ophthalmology services. The ambience of the Paediatric unit is relaxed and welcoming. We ensure a trouble and hassle-free eye check-up for your children.