The last few decades have seen an astonishing increase in the prevalence of children’s myopia. Why is it happening and what can you do about it?
Myopia, also called nearsightedness, affects an estimated 30 percent of the population. In the vast majority of cases, it develops during early childhood. While genetics are the primary factor, new research suggests children’s behavior and environment also play a role in the progression of myopia.
We understand how frustrating everyday life can be for children with uncorrected nearsightedness. We’re committed to providing the best advice and treatment for this all-too-common problem!
Signs Your Child May Be Nearsighted
Children with myopia have difficulty seeing things at a distance, which may be demonstrated by sitting too close to the television, squinting, or difficulty in school because they can’t see the board. They might also complain of “tired eyes” or headaches when trying to see something far away.
These signs shouldn’t be passed off as just childhood quirks. Too often, parents don’t realize the importance of early vision care, and wait far too long to have their child’s vision checked. Generally, baby’s first full eye exam should be at six months, then at age three, then before entering first grade.
Prevention Could Be Surprisingly Simple
Recent studies suggest a straightforward reason for skyrocketing rates of myopia in children: they aren’t spending enough time outside! Before modern times, when children spent most of their time out under the sun, it’s believed that the bright, natural light helped developing eyes focus correctly.
Dim, artificial indoor lighting doesn’t seem to provide the same benefit. This difference may be causing the eyeballs of children who spend too much time indoors to grow oblong, unable to focus on distant objects. So, the next time your child is looking for something to do, suggest something outdoors! Just a couple hours of sun a day could make all the difference!
Myopia Doesn’t Have to Limit Your Child
Correcting myopia in children requires close monitoring because their eyes are changing so rapidly, and often don’t stabilize until their 20s! However, even during all this change, your child can enjoy full, clear vision.
Whether the best choice is glasses, contacts, or other treatment, we understand that the optimal vision correction solution is one that’s tailored to each individual patient. Also, we’ll make sure you and your child know everything you need to effectively use and maintain what we prescribe.
Thank you for choosing us as your family’s partners in lifelong vision health. We treasure the trust you place in our practice!