How Affects Farsightedness in Children?
Pediatric Eye Clinic in Houston
First, a surprising fact: farsightedness is not the opposite of nearsightedness, and it does not mean that things are clear at distance but blurry up close.
A farsighted eye is too short, so that it would bring light to focus behind the retina. The eye has a mechanism for pulling that focal point up to the retina so that the eye can see clearly, and this mechanism is called accommodation. Accommodation is the focusing mechanism that we all use when we shift from looking at something far away to something close up. (For instance, when we turn 40 and have trouble seeing up close, we are not becoming farsighted, but are just running out of accommodation.)
A farsighted person can see 20/20 both at distance and at near, without glasses, as long as he or she can accommodate enough. In fact, it is normal for children to be farsighted; most children begin life moderately farsighted and may in fact become more farsighted until about age six or seven before leveling off for a couple of years. The farsightedness then tends to decrease into the teens, so that most children end up with negligible refractive error (neither nearsighted nor farsighted) in their teens. All those years they were farsighted, but not having any problem seeing because they could accommodate enough.
So which farsighted children need glasses? First, those whose farsightedness produces crossing of the eyes (accommodative esotropia). These children need glasses, not so much to help them see, but instead mostly to keep their eyes straight. Second, some children are extremely farsighted, so much so that they are not able to accommodate enough to see clearly. These children may need glasses for their extreme farsightedness even though their eyes are straight. Finally, children who are significantly more farsighted in one eye than in the other do require glasses to keep them from getting amblyopia, or to help treat their amblyopia.
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