Refractive Errors In Children

Refractive errors are one of the most common eye conditions found in children. Refractive errors are often considered a minor eye-related issue. However, it is important not to let it take a backseat as it can affect vision. Impaired vision can, in turn, affect your child’s performance in school and social activities.

What are refractive errors?

In order for anybody to see clearly, the light that enters the eye must precisely focus on the retina, the portion at the back of the eyes that are composed of light-sensitive cells. The two parts of the eyes, lens and cornea, play an important role in focusing light rays on the retina. The presence of a refractive error is felt when the light does not precisely focus on the retina.

Refractive errors in children

Types of refractive errors found in children


Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a condition where objects located in a distance appear blurry or out of focus. Myopia is the most common type of refractive error found in children. Although blurry-distant-vision is the primary symptom of myopia, children are too young or unaware to discern it or complain about it.

Secondary symptoms may indicate the presence of refractive error in your child. Some of the common secondary symptoms to watch out for include sitting too close to the TV or holding books up close in the face. Take notice if your child suddenly loses interest in sports that require good distant vision.

In case you observe these symptoms in your child, schedule an appointment with an eye doctor as soon as possible. If you are looking for an eye hospital in Kolkata, visit Disha Eye Hospitals as they have a team of the best paediatric eye doctors, who would carry out a proper diagnosis of your child’s refractive error.


Hyperopia, or also known as farsightedness, is when objects located close by appearing blurry or out of focus. This refractive error is very common in children. Some of the common symptoms of hyperopia in children are eye tiredness, eye strain, and headaches. A few external signs of hyperopia that you might notice in your child include difficulty in reading, eye rubbing, and squinting.


Astigmatism is the blurriness of both close and distant vision. In many cases, astigmatism begins in early childhood; the refractive error can develop in adulthood as well. Persisting eye fatigue (tiredness), eye strain, and headaches are some of the common symptoms of astigmatism that your child may experience.

Causes of refractive errors

Just like the symptoms, causes of refractive errors vary. Myopia commonly occurs when the eye’s refractive power is too strong. A longer length of the eyeball axis is another important cause of myopia.

Hyperopia can occur when the length of the eyeball axis is short. The refractive error can also occur when the eye has a weak refractive power. Astigmatism often occurs due to abnormal curvature of the cornea. In many cases, refractive error is inherited, meaning if you or your spouse have a refractive error, your child is likely to develop the condition.

Treatment of refractive errors

Paediatric eye doctors usually prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses in order to temporarily correct refractive errors in children. Prescription eyeglasses are often the preferred refractive error correction option for younger children. This is because they are safer as compared to prescription contact lenses.

Take help from one of Disha’s paediatric eye doctors

Choose the best eye specialists in Kolkata from the paediatric eye care department, who can help you in selecting the right treatment option for your child. Learn more about the hospital at