How does refractive error cause blindness in children?

As per a study, 19 million children aged below 15 years are visually impaired globally. Out of which 12 million are due to uncorrected refractive errors.

Uncorrected refractive defects present a subtle threat to our children’s future scholastic progress and general well-being. Even while these problems are simple to fix, they can have a significant negative effect, especially in a place like India where the frequency of these mistakes is astonishing.

What are uncorrected refractive errors?

It refers to refractive errors that might go unnoticed and could be rectified using eyeglasses but have yet to be corrected.

It happens when there is a difference in the refractive component of an eye and the length of an eyeball. It causes blurry vision or difficulty in focusing.

Let’s understand indications, types, and solutions for uncorrected refractive errors. The article will also highlight the critical role that a comprehensive school health program plays in protecting our children’s vision and potential.

Spotting the Signs of uncorrected refractive errors:

Refractive errors can easily and often go unnoticed by parents. Children cannot recognize it. Parents and educators should observe the following signs:

•Frequent squinting or rubbing of eyes

•Holding books or screens too close or too far away

•Frequent headaches or eye strain

•Difficulty concentrating or paying attention in class

•Decreased performance in reading, writing, or other visual tasks

The Spectrum of Uncorrected Refractive Errors:

What are the four 4 common refractive errors?

There are four primary types of uncorrected refractive errors:

1. Myopia (near-sightedness): Close-up vision is unaffected, but distant objects seem hazy.

Image: Myopia or Nearsightedness

2. Hyperopia (farsightedness): The ability to see clearly in the distance but hazy in the close-up.

3. Astigmatism: Vision that is blurry or distorted because of a lens or cornea with an uneven shape.

4. Presbyopia: Having presbyopia makes it harder to see details up close. This disorder is known as accommodative insufficiency in children and teenagers.

What happens if refractive error is not treated?

Impact on Academics:

If not treated refractive defects can have a significant influence on a child’s academic career because 80% of learning is visual.

•Having trouble reading or writing can result in poor comprehension and learning issues.

•Reduced attention spans can be caused by poor focus and eye strain.

•Visual disorders that go untreated might lead to behavioral problems or low self-esteem.

Undiagnosed refractive errors in school-aged children can be addressed with a periodic school health checkup that includes an advanced eye exam.

Diagnosing refractive errors is crucial to avoid poor vision, which further leads to lazy eye or blurry vision.


The best ways to restore eyesight are through early identification and prevention.

1.Regular Eye Exams:

To detect refractive issues early in childhood, routine eye exams are essential.

2. Corrective Eyewear:

Prescription glasses or contact lenses can improve academic achievement by allowing for clean eyesight.

3.Parent and Teacher Awareness:

Early intervention might result from educating parents and teachers about the symptoms of refractive errors.

4.Healthy Habits:

Promoting screen-time breaks, appropriate lighting, and preserving the ideal reading distance.

5.School Health Programs:

Implementing thorough school-based eye health programs may be extremely important for identification, treatment, and prevention. Vigour360 provides advanced eye check-ups for students that help to identify vision changes at an early stage.

Empowering Schools for Vision Care:

Addressing uncorrected refractive problems can be made much easier with a robust school health program:

•Periodic eye check-ups for all students.

•AI-powered tools for eye exams followed by real-time insights by Electronic Health Records.

•Spreading awareness of the value of eye health among parents, educators, and students.

•Professional guidance for people in need of remedial actions such as eyeglasses, lenses, or surgery.

•Following each student’s academic progress and keeping track of their optical health.


Uncorrected refractive errors need not cast a shadow on our children’s potential. With increased awareness, early intervention, and the establishment of comprehensive school health programs, we can ensure that every child can see the world clearly and unlock their full academic and personal potential.

Vigour360 School Health Program facilitates global healthcare expertise at schools’ doorsteps! Our advanced eye check-up has proven benefits for students, who struggle in classrooms due to vision problems. Connect us today.

Remember, a clear vision today can lead to a bright vision tomorrow!


How does refractive error cause blindness?

If not treated refractive errors cause blurry vision, additionally, its progression can cause vision loss.

How do you treat uncorrected refractive error?

After diagnosis, refractive errors are corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses or in some cases by surgery.

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