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  • Kids who regularly bump into things or trip may do so, not because they’re clumsy, but because they can’t see clearly. “Kids don’t initially know what ‘clear’ looks like,” says John Baldwin Tan, M.D., an ophthalmologist specializing in laser and microsurgery.

    Kids preparing for preschool should be screened for visual acuity and errors of refraction. Refraction refers to the bending of light as reflected by the eye. Adults and children who have red-orange reflex (captured in photographs as “red eye”) have normal refraction.

    Optometrists check for errors of refraction using graded lenses to determine if kids need to wear glasses. Common errors of refraction are nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism.

    Errors of refraction of our eyes are dependent on how the eyes are formed—on its size, on the shape of the cornea, and the shape of the lens.
    • John Baldwin Tan, M.D., ophthalmologist, Diseases, Laser, and Microsurgery of the Eye, Med Central Diagnostic Clinic
    • Christy Querido, O.D., optometrist, Arcangel Medical Diagnostic Laboratory
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