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Astigmatism in children

Astigmatic child: what does it mean?

Astigmatism is a vision anomaly generated by inequalities in the curvatures of the rays of the cornea. Astigmatism is a very common abnormality of the cornea. To symbolize this anomaly, the optician often uses the following explanation: the cornea, the surface membrane of the eye , will have the oval shape of a rugby ball rather than the round shape of a football with equal radii!

This means that the light rays do not converge at a single point on the retina, as usual, generating a distorted image and therefore blurred vision near and far.

How can I identify my child's astigmatism?

The most commonly observed signs are:
  • Eye squinting
  • Headache
  • Tilted head position (in case of significant astigmatism)
  • Confusion of letters like H, M, N or numbers like 8 and 0
  • Writing above the lines or too tilted
  • Blurred, double, imprecise vision at distance and near

In children , uncorrected astigmatism can cause strabismus (crossed eye). If astigmatism only affects one eye out of the two, amblyopia (or “lazy eye”) can cause a more or less significant loss of vision in one eye which may be permanent. It is therefore advisable to consult an ophthalmologist whatever the vision problems, in order to provide rapid treatment to avoid progressive loss of vision.
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