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If your child can see distant objects clearly, but has trouble seeing things up close, she might be long-sighted. This is one of the most common problems that children have with their eyesight.

Causes

Long-sightedness is when the length of the eyeball from front to back is shorter than usual. This interferes with the way light is reflected from the back of the eye, distorting the image transferred to the brain.

Symptoms

If your child is long-sighted, he might say that objects close to him seem blurry, whereas far-away objects are clear. Your child might need to strain his eyes to see close objects clearly.

Long-sightedness doesn’t usually become obvious until your child’s a toddler.

Long-sightedness is often associated with a squint (where each eye appears to be looking in different directions). Because your child strains her eyes to see close up, she might complain of sore eyes, headache or fatigue. She might not be interested in reading because of the eye strain it causes, and her school work might be affected.

When to see your doctor

You should see your doctor if your child has any of the symptoms described above.

Treatment

Your doctor will arrange to refer your child to an eye specialist for tests. Your child might need glasses or contact lenses for close-up work such as reading and using the computer.

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  • Last Updated 28-06-2011
  • Last Reviewed 13-03-2011
  • Sands Braverman, R. (2009). Eye. In W. Hay, M. Levin, J. Sondheimer & R. Deterding (Eds), Current diagnosis and treatment: Pediatrics (20th edn, pp. 401-441). New York: McGraw-Hill.

    Olitsky, S.E., Hug, D., & Smith, L.P. (2007). Abnormalities of refraction and accommodation. In R. Kliegman, R. Behrman, H. Jenson & B. Stanton (Eds), Nelson textbook of pediatrics (18th edn, pp. 2572-2573). Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier.

    Victorian Government Department of Health (2009). Eye problems – long-sightedness. Retrieved January 17, 2011, from http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Eye_problems_long-sightedness?open.

    Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (2010). Farsightedness. Retrieved January 17, 2011, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/farsightedness/DS00527.

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