Nearsightedness or myopia is a common problem in children. A child with myopia will be able to see things up close but may find it difficult to view objects that are far. Thus, it is often diagnosed when they are in first or second grade and struggle to view the board in class. It is essential to treat it with corrective glasses or contact lenses because myopia increases as the eyes grow, making the condition worse. Learn more about the essentials of this eye condition so you know what to expect if your child is diagnosed.
What You Should Know About Myopia in Kids
Myopia Symptoms in Kids
If these symptoms are spotted early enough, myopia can be managed, and it is possible to slow the progression. Watch for these symptoms that can indicate they are having difficulty seeing clearly:
- Sitting too close to the television
- Holding books too close when reading
- Squinting to view distant objects
- Experiencing frequent headaches or eye strain
It is Increasing in Prevalence
Research indicates that the incidence of nearsightedness has been increasing steadily. Although it may be because of environmental factors and genetics, it does not have a specific pattern, even in the same family. For instance, if both parents have nearsightedness, their child is more likely to have myopia. However, if they have more than one, one sibling may be myopic while the other is not. Additionally, the increased screen usage during the COVID-19 pandemic can increase the chances of developing myopia.
How It Happens
Myopia often occurs in children when the eyeball size increases too much from front to back or lengthwise. A person with normal eyesight will have clear vision when light enters the eye and focuses directly on the retina. However, with myopia, light focuses in front of the retina, causing blurred eyesight. Since there is no way to shrink the eyeball, myopia never goes away.
Risk of Developing Other Eye Conditions
According to the experts, higher amounts of myopia in kids enhances the risk of certain eye diseases as they get older. This often includes diseases such as cataracts, macular degeneration, retinal detachments, and glaucoma. Moreover, the chance of these conditions increases around ten times once their prescription goes beyond -4.00, which is why it is crucial to take steps to prevent their eyesight from getting worse over time.
How to Help Slow the Progression of Myopia in Children
- Encourage your kid to spend time outside daily in natural sunlight to rest their eyes.
- Ensure that they take regular breaks from close work or screens every half an hour. Doing so will allow their eyes to relax.
- Make sure they do not hold anything too close to their eyes.
- Ensure your child utilizes good lighting when reading or writing to prevent eye strain.
Other Treatment Options for Myopia in Kids
- Multifocal lenses are 30% to 50% effective and are designed to bend light in a specific way to help relax the eyes.
- A low dose of Atropine eye drops is around 30% – 70% effective for myopic children and can help relax the focusing system.
- Orthokeratology contact lenses are worn at night. They reshape the cornea so that your child may not need glasses or contacts.
Contact U Optical for Complete Eyecare Solutions
From comprehensive eye exams to a range of trendy, classic eyewear, U Optical is the one-stop destination for all your vision care needs. You can fill out our online contact form to book an eye appointment or call us at 416-292-0075 if you have any questions. We’ll be happy to guide you!