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Astigmatism in infants and children. What is it?


Astigmatism is a refractive error of the eye, that is, a graduation. This vision disorder is due, very commonly and, especially in children especially, to the shape of the eye.

Normally the cornea and lens of the eye are curved and have the same curvature in all directions. This is what makes it possible to focus the light rays correctly towards the retina. But, if the cornea or lens do not have the same curvature, these rays are not refracted correctly and a refractive error occurs. This is called astigmatism.

Children when they are born, have disproportionately large eyes compared to the rest of the body. But his eye also has another peculiarity: they have it a little more oval, that is, it has a shape more like an egg rather than a perfect sphere.

What happens with children is that the outermost part of the eye, the cornea, that natural lens that we have attached to the eye, has more curvature and is more flattened in one area than in another.

This flatter shape makes the eye not completely round. Astigmatism is normal therefore in childhood, by the shape of the eye itself.

As the child grows, that eye increases in size and becomes more and more round, therefore it is normal for this astigmatism to decrease and even tend to disappear.

With the collaboration of María Valencia Sandonís

Optician and optometrist

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