• Refractive errors are the commonest cause of preventive blindness in children.

  • Vision and refraction can be checked using many picture charts for preschool children and complete comprehensive eye examination can be performed

  • Every child should have his first dilated eye check-up before 3 years


Refractive errors occurs when the light rays do not focus on the light sensitive layer of the the eye i.e, the retina. The length of the eyeball (longer or shorter), or there may be changes in the curvature of the cornea, or in the refractive index of the lens. Refractive errors are the most common cause of blindness in Children.


The most common types of refractive errors are myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia, and astigmatism.


  • Myopia: A condition where the light comes to focus in front of the retina instead of on the retina.

  • Hyperopia: A condition where the light comes to focus behind the retina instead of on the retina.

  • Astigmatism: A condition in which the eye does not focus light uniformly onto the retina ,the power is different in horizontal and vertical axes

  • Presbyopia: is an age-related condition in which the ability to focus up close becomes more difficult. As the eye ages, the lens can no longer change shape enough to allow the eye to focus close objects clearly.This is usually seen above the age of 40 years and people need a separate near add.



Blurred vision is the most common symptom of refractive errors. Other symptoms may include:

  • Holding the books too close to the eyes

  • Child going too close to the TV

  • Headache

  • Eyestrain

  • Double-vision

  • Haziness

  • Glare or halos around bright lights

  • Squinting


How are refractive errors diagnosed?

A child needs a comprehensive dilated eye examination by a Paediatric Ophthalmologist to find out the correct Power, drops are instilled and an objective retinoscopy is performed



Spectacles are the simplest and safest way to correct refractive errors and provide your kid the optimal vision.

Contact Lenses can be prescribed when a child is responsible enough to take care of them and maintain proper hygiene. They are also prescribed in some medical conditions like keratoconus and aphakia to provide clearer and a wider field of vision. Refractive Surgery aims to change the shape of the cornea permanently. They can be performed once the growth of the eye is complete i.e, around 20 years of age.