My Child Has Myopia: 5 Essential Tips
Myopia is one of the most common early childhood vision problems. Caused by accelerated eye growth, myopia prevents children from seeing things well that are further away from them, such as a chalkboard or TV.
While this vision problem is common and relatively simple to correct with prescription glasses or contact lenses, treating it as soon as possible is crucial. Not only will prompt treatment allow your child to see better in school, but it will also prevent further vision-related complications later on down the road.
What is Myopia?
Myopia, or nearsightedness, occurs when a child’s eyeball length from front to back is too long for their eye socket. It can also occur when the cornea is too steeply curved. In such cases, when light enters the eye, the rays don’t fully reach the retina, making distant objects look blurry while close ones remain clear. This condition generally worsens throughout adolescence and stabilizes in the early twenties.
Symptoms of Myopia
Symptoms of myopia include:
Frequent eye rubbing
If you suspect myopia in your child or if your child has been diagnosed with myopia, read on to learn more about the common treatments for it.
Myopia Treatments for Children
While myopia can’t be cured or reversed, it’s usually fairly simple to treat. Treatment is focused on improving vision and preventing vision from worsening. Even if they continue to wear glasses or contact lenses, early treatment is crucial for protecting a child’s eye health in the future.
Prescription glasses are the most common treatment option for children with myopia. Glasses may need to be worn all the time or only when needed to see long distances. When you need to get glasses for your child, it’s essential to choose comfortable frames that fit properly and work for their age and activity level.
Contact lenses are an alternative to glasses for children who prefer them. They can be especially helpful for children who are very active or involved in sports. There’s no specific age limit for contact lenses, but before you consider them for your child, ensure that they can tolerate eye drops and are good at maintaining good personal hygiene. Even if you choose contact lenses for your child, it’s a good idea to keep glasses on hand as backup.
Preventative Treatments for Children
Potential treatments for preventing myopia from worsening after diagnosis include the following.
Atropine Eye Drops
Atropine eye drops are traditionally used to dilate the pupils during eye exams. A low dose of atropine eye drops may help slow myopia progression in children between the ages of 5 and 18.
Specialized Contact Lenses
Specialized multifocal contact lenses cause blurry side vision. These can be helpful for some children as they may help slow eye growth and myopia progression. Ortho-K (orthokeratology) is another contact lens treatment that flattens the cornea overnight, helping light correctly focus on a child’s retina during the day.
More Outdoor Time
One of the most effective natural ways to prevent the onset of myopia is to give the child more outdoor time whenever possible.