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Q. My 1-year-old kid has -3. 5 and -2. 5 refractive error. Do he needs glasses?

Answered by
Dr. Hussein Ayoub
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on May 24, 2020

Hello doctor,

My child is one year old. On routine examination his eye has a power of minus 3.5 and minus 2.5 refractive error. What is the normal refractive error at this age as refraction continues to change? Doctor said to follow up after six months as glasses may be needed if power increases. Please help.

Dr. Hussein Ayoub

Ophthalmology (Eye Care)


Welcome to

First of all, let me tell you that visual development takes until the age of puberty. As your child grows, his vision parameters will change because his eyeball grows with him as he ages. So visual stability will continue to change until the age of 18-20 years old.

Normally the child is born with a plus refractive error unlike the case here. Your child has a condition called myopia which is a refractive error with a minus as you said. But that is completely fixable as the child grows whether by glasses, contact lenses, or LASIK surgery if it continues and he needs to take glasses off later.

The most important examination in his age is something called a red reflex. You should ask your doctor if he has done it to him. Also, I would ask about the fundus examination too. If both were normal, I would not have any concerns. I want to reassure you that your child's eyes are in good health. He just needs to be examined precisely every follow up every six months as your doctor suggested, just to make sure everything is going right and to treat anything if something happens early.

The glasses will not be tolerated by a child as his age is too small, as soon as he can tolerate glasses, put them on. That could happen in two years. If you need further assistance do not hesitate to contact me.

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