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Glasses are used to produce a clear image on the back wall of the eye or the retina. This is similar to focusing an image onto film in a camera. In children, a special examination requiring the use of strong, long-acting drops, is needed in order to make an independent assessment of their need for glasses.
Nearsighted children are ones in which objects that are close are clear while objects that are far away, are not. This is called myopia. Farsightedness, or hyperopia, is sight which is better at a distance than near. Eventually, this does occur in adulthood when the lens of the eye can no longer focus for ourselves. However, children are actually normally farsighted. The lens inside their eye can easily focus this for them and they remain with clear vision. However, large amounts of farsightedness can induce eye strain and this strain can even lead to crossing of the eyes. Astigmatism is a condition where the eye is not completely round. This causes a distortion of the optical image coming into the eye.
There are special considerations in fitting a child for glasses. For example, polycarbonate is the lens material of choice. This protects children who are at a higher risk for lens shattering. Additionally, frames that are picked for children should be especially for kids and not just a pair of small adult eyeglasses. Remember, it is never too early to have a child's eye examined if you think there is a problem. For more information regarding eye glasses, contact your health care provider.
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