• Any Danger from Leaving Refractive Errors Uncorrected?


    Question:

    Is there any danger from leaving refractive errors (a focusing disorder of the eye, which includes nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism) uncorrected?


    Answer:

    Yes, in certain cases. Obviously operating machinery, driving a car and many other tasks will not be safe if there is a significant uncorrected refractive error. Unrecognized and/or uncorrected refractive errors can also lead to educational and social difficulties. However, I am assuming you are asking if there are dangers to the health of the eye.

    The connections from the eye to the brain develop in childhood up to about age 9 to 11. In order to have a clear connection, the eye has to obtain a clear image. Significant refractive error — if not corrected — can lead to amblyopia (lazy eye), which can cause a permanent reduction in vision because the connection from the eye did not deliver a clear image to the brain while the brain was developing.


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