Myopia in Children

 

What is Myopia?

Myopia is the medical term for ‘short-sightedness’, which means that you can see things up close clearly, but things further away may look blurry or out of focus.

It is a very common condition and is thought to affect 1 in 3 people in the UK and symptoms can range from very mild to severe.

Myopia can begin in adulthood and is also hereditary, so if as parent you currently have myopia your child is three times more likely to have myopia and six times as likely to have the condition if both parents do. Myopia is often first noticed in childhood, where symptoms can become apparent from the age of 6.

 

What are signs to look out for?

  • Complaining that objects in the distance appear blurry or fuzzy
  • Regular headaches
  • Frequent rubbing of eyes
  • Holding books or other objects close to their face
  • Sitting close to the television
  • Squinting
  • Excessive watering of the eyes

 

 

What causes myopia to worsen?

It has been suggested that a lack of time spent outdoors in the sunlight is related to the development of myopia.  So encouraging children to spend more time outdoors could contribute to delaying or reducing the chances of myopia.

Myopia worsens especially during growth spurts of the pre-teen and teen years. It can also get worse when you engage in various activities that strain the eyes, such as excessive screen time.

We advise you to ensure your child to takes breaks from reading and limits time on digital devices with screen breaks. Wearing sunglasses when spending time outdoors and attending regular eye can also help prevent the development of myopia.

 

Can Myopia be managed?

In short, yes. There are techniques and preventative measures that can be utilised to slow down the progression of myopia.

In this first instance when myopia is identified, your optometrist will recommend we monitor the condition over a period of time to understand what specific management plan would be suitable for your child based on their findings.

Recommendations will often include suggested changes to general lifestyle and the use of specific lenses designed especially for this condition.

 

Benefits of managing myopia

Slowing the progression of myopia means your child’s prescription can be kept lower for a longer period of time. This means it creates a better appearance of glasses, with thinner and lighter lenses.

A lower level of myopia can reduce the risk of developing eye conditions later in life such as cataracts, glaucoma, myopic macular degeneration and retinal detachments.

What happens next?

Myopia Management will often require multiple visits to your optometrist to monitor and manage the condition. Our helpful and friendly team will support you through the journey of myopia management.

Once all of the information is collated we can then create a plan tailored for your child to manage myopia. We are all individuals and require different treatment so this is a key part of the Myopia Management journey.

To book your child in for their routine eye exam, click below to find your nearest store, or give us a call if you would like to discuss Myopia Management further.

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