Myopia in Kids

Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a common vision condition that affects many children. In myopia, children can see nearby objects clearly, but distant objects appear blurred. This occurs when the eyeball is too long, or the cornea or lens is too curved, causing the light to focus in front of the retina instead of on it.

Myopia in kids can develop as early as 6 years old, but it usually becomes more noticeable during the teenage years. The condition may be genetic and tends to run in families, but environmental factors such as prolonged near work, reading in poor lighting conditions, and spending too much time on electronic devices can also contribute to its development.

There are several symptoms of myopia in kids, including squinting, headaches, eye strain, and difficulty seeing distant objects such as chalkboards, signs, or faces from a distance. Children may also exhibit behavior such as sitting too close to the TV or computer screen or holding books too close while reading. These symptoms can affect their performance in school, sports, and other activities.

If left untreated, myopia can worsen over time, and it may increase the risk of eye-related problems later in life, such as cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal detachment. Therefore, it is essential to diagnose and treat myopia early on.

The most common treatment for myopia in kids is prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. These corrective lenses can help children see distant objects clearly and alleviate the symptoms associated with myopia. There are also specialized lenses available, such as multifocal lenses, that can help slow down the progression of myopia in kids.

Another option for myopia management is orthokeratology or Ortho-K. This is a non-invasive procedure that uses specialized contact lenses to reshape the cornea overnight, providing temporary relief from myopia during the day. This procedure can be useful for kids who are not comfortable wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses during the day.

Finally, there are some lifestyle changes that parents can encourage to help prevent or slow down the progression of myopia in kids. These include reducing screen time, spending more time outdoors, and taking regular breaks during near-work activities.

In conclusion, myopia in kids is a common condition that can affect their academic and social activities. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent complications later in life. Parents should encourage their children to have regular eye exams and take the necessary steps to promote healthy vision habits.

Treatment options for myopia in kids

Treatment options for myopia in kids

Myopia in both children and adults can be treated with glasses or contact lenses. There are several different types of refractive operations that can also treat myopia in adults (with very few exceptions for children).

Myopia results in a negative prescription for glasses or contact lenses, such as -3.00. Your lenses will be stronger the higher the number. Your distance vision is improved by the prescription’s aid in the eye’s ability to focus light on the retina.

Here are a few more treatment options you can opt for your child. Though you should do this only after consulting your child’s doctor.

  1. Eyeglasses
  2. Contact lenses
  3. Ortho-K
  4. LASIK
  5. LASEK
  6. Vision therapy
  7. PRK
  8. Intraocular lense implant

How can you prevent myopia from getting worse?

Even though myopia cannot be cured, there are everyday actions you can do to maintain your general eye health. Setting boundaries for your kids (and yourself) on activities that strain your eyes is especially crucial in today’s world.

Here are some tips you can try to avoid your child’s myopia from worsening:

  1. Restrict their time of use of digital devices.
  2. Ask them to take breaks from the screen.
  3. Avoid working or studying in low light.
  4. Encourage outdoor activity.
  5. Make them wear sunglasses or caps outside.
  6. For sports or pastimes, put on safety goggles.
  7. Plan routine eye checkups.
  8. To slow advancement, ask your doctor about atropine eye drops.
  9. Discuss dual focus contact lenses with your doctor to slow down the progression of the condition.

When to see a doctor?

You should get your child’s eye checked up regularly. These regular checkups should start even before they turn 1 year old. You should schedule with your child’s pediatrician or an ophthalmologist for vision checkups every 6 months to 1 year. But if your child is complaining of the following, you should schedule a meetup soon.

  • Blurry vision 
  • Constant headaches 
  • Squinting of eye
  • Shortened attention span
  • Complaining of not being able to see far objects like the blackboard in school etc.

Foods that are good for eyes

Foods that are good for eyes

All eyes depend on the nutrients from the food we eat to maintain essential eye tissues and functions. As your child’s eyes mature, nutrition becomes even more crucial for their eyesight. Make sure everyone gets enough water to stay hydrated in addition to limiting caffeinated beverages.

Additionally, endeavor to consume meals high in:

  • Vitamin A – carrots, spinach, sweet potato, mangoes, liver, egg
  • Vitamin C – oranges, pineapple, kiwi, tomatoes,  mango
  • Lutein – egg, spinach, carrots 

Take-Home Points

Even while myopia cannot be entirely prevented, many people live with it. There are several options for contact lenses and corrective eyewear. Taking good care of your child’s eyes is the key to managing their myopia.

Make an appointment with your optometrist right away to learn more about myopia and whether your children could benefit from any treatments.