Myopia and How to Reduce Its Progression in Children
Myopia is one of the most common medical conditions to affect eyesight. Known more commonly as nearsightedness, myopia doesn’t impact vision when looking at objects nearby, but it causes farther away objects to appear blurry.
It is a condition that is affecting more and more children. Research from the British Journal of Ophthalmology reveals that, in 2015, there was an estimated 312 million myopic cases – and that number is only expected to grow.
While it is detrimental to a child’s vision and can cause various issues into adulthood, the good news is the fight doesn’t have to be one-sided. There are various ways in which the onset and growth of myopia can be delayed.
What are the dangers of myopia?
Sadly, people that suffer from myopic eyes are at risk of more than just the need to wear ever-thickening lenses as they grow older. Those with myopia are more at risk of developing various diseases and complications which threaten sight.
Retinal detachment is also a something which people with myopia have to watch out for. Research suggests that approximately 50% of retinal detachments happen to those who are myopic. Additional risks from myopia include cataracts, myopic macular degeneration, and glaucoma.
What preventative measures can be used against myopia?
While it might seem like a lost cause if your child has developed myopia at an early age, not all hope is lost. As mentioned previously, several methods can be utilized to help slow and maybe even pause the progression of myopia.
Visit a specialist
If you have the means to do so, it is always recommended to take your child to an eye specialist. They will be able to provide assistance and diagnosis of the condition, giving you a better idea about the whole situation.
You could also go one step further and visit a myopia specialist. For instance, St. Johns Eye Associates offers a reputable Myopia Management program. This method incorporates various forms of treatment – including contact lenses and eye drops – which are all used to slow and potentially stop the condition’s progression.
Reduce the use of electronic devices
Okay, trying to tear your child away from their smartphone or tablet computer is going to be a near-impossible task. However, reducing their usage of electronic devices is advised as this will ultimately place less strain on their eyes.
Aside from electronic devices, the same can also be said for other ‘near work’ activities like reading and writing. Even if they’re working on a lengthy project or are completely engrossed in a book, try and get them to take a five-minute break every 30 minutes or so.
Other habits that help with eye care
Even though they may only be small points on their own, the combination of the following tips can all significantly help with your child’s eye health. These tips include:
- Using adequate room lighting
- Opt for books which feature large print
- Ensure they don’t hold the book too close to their face
- The same goes for their distance between digital screens
- Try and prevent glare on screens from other light sources