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Eye Facts

Hyperopia In Kids

by Speckles Info 07 Apr 2023
Hyperopia In Kids

Hyperopia, also known as farsightedness or hypermetropia, is a common refractive error that affects kids. It can create obstacles in a child reaching their developmental milestones, as it prevents them from being able to focus on objects that are up close. So what causes hyperopia and how is it treated? 

What causes Hyperopia?

Hyperopia develops when the distance from the front to the back of the eye is shorter than normal. This causes the light entering the eye to focus behind the retina instead of on it, preventing the brain from reading a clear image.  

Like many eye conditions, hyperopia can be inherited. If one or both parents have it, their kids are likely to develop it too. Kids who are born prematurely are also more likely to develop hyperopia, as their eyes may not have had enough time to fully develop in the womb.


How Is Hyperopia Treated?

It's important to note that some degree of hyperopia is normal in young kids, as their eyes are still developing. The vision impairment can be easily treated by wearing prescription glasses or contact lenses, which work by adjusting the way light enters the eye, allowing it to focus correctly on the retina. 

While refractive surgery can be performed to correct hyperopia, this approach is not recommended in kids as the shape of their eye and consequently, the severity of the condition will likely change as they grow.

How Can Hyperopia Affect My Child?

Hyperopia can affect kids in several ways, depending on the severity of the condition, including:

  1. Kids with hyperopia may experience eyestrain, headaches, and fatigue when trying to focus on objects up close. This can impact their enthusiasm and confidence when doing activities like colouring or reading a book.
  2. They may have difficulty reading materials in class like books or writing activities. This can impact their ability to learn and keep up with their classmates.
  3. If a child's hyperopia is causing vision problems or making it difficult for them to participate in activities they enjoy, they may become frustrated, anxious, or withdrawn.
  4. Children with severe hyperopia may develop a condition called strabismus, where the eyes are misaligned and do not focus in the same direction at the same time. This can cause double vision and depth perception problems which can also impact their developmental milestones like walking and running
  5. Anisometropia is an eye condition where there is an imbalance between each eye's optical power. For example, only one eye is farsighted and the other is normal, one eye has clearer vision than the other or one eye is shortsighted and the other is longsighted. Because of this imbalance, the brain will rely on the image received by the stronger eye and therefore the weaker eye will not develop properly, leading to amblyopia.
It's important for children with hyperopia to have regular eye exams to ensure that their vision is corrected and to identify any potential issues early on. With proper treatment, most children with hyperopia can see clearly and participate in all the activities they enjoy.
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