What is anisometropia?
Refractive errors are optical defects that appear when the eye is unable to focus the image in the retina. There are basically three types:
At birth, the human being does not have fully developed visual system. We aren't born with the ability to see, but rather with the ability to "learn to see".
Despite having complete eye structures, the visual system of a newborn is immature and develops as the cerebral cortex receives appropriate stimulation which is more or less symetrical in both eyes over the first few years of their lives.
The first few months of life are particularly important and can be separated in different stages.
There is a series of signs and symptoms that may indicate the existence of a refractive issue and that would therefore be a reason to see your ophthalmologist:
The first eye examination should be undertaken at birth by a paediatrician to rule out the presence of structural abnormalities or severe congenital eye problems.
Later on, despite there not being any apparent symptoms, a full eye examination by a specialist is advised aroun the age of 2-3, to assess the anterior and posterior segments of the eyeball, detect potential refractive errors and evaluate the status of the eye's motility to rule out the presence of strabismus.
The timing of further check-ups will depend on the findings from this first examination, and subsequently, even if no pathologies are found, annual check-ups are recommended until the age of 8-9, which is when visual learning is complete. From this age, we can space out the check-ups to every two years until the child is of legal age.
Treatment for refractive errors in childhood, be it hypermetropia (long-sightedness), myopia (short-sightedness) and/or astigmatism, is the use of glasses. For children, it is important that the glasses are well fitted, comfortable and stable.
In special cases, contact lenses can be used as treatment.
Depending on whether or not the child has a lazy eye (amblyopia), occlusion therapy (normally with a patch) will or will not be indicataed. The use of occlusion will depend on each case, according to age, the degree of amblyopia, etc.