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Does my child need lenses with plus number?

Q: My son is 17 months old and last month, we observed squint in his right eye. We took him to a specialist and he told us that our child needs spectacles. The numbers given by the eye specialist were +7.0 for the right eye and +5.5 for the left eye. I want to know why has our child been given positive number when the doctor himself says that the child can put a thread into a needle. Are plastic lenses safer and better for infants than glass ones?

A:Children who have a plus number often manifest with squint because these children use their muscles (accommodate) to correct the refractive error. Due to plus number, he can't see very small objects clearly without glasses. In order to see clearly, he has to apply extra force to his muscles and this extra force results in squint. So, once he puts on the glasses, his muscles are at rest because now the vision is being corrected by glasses. This type of squint is called Accommodative Esotropia and the standard treatment for this squint is wearing of glasses only. If squint is visible even after wearing proper glasses, only then is surgery indicated. Plastic lens (Poly carbonate) is safer and is highly recommended for children.

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