If your child is having difficulty concentrating in school, complaining of frequent headaches, or squinting, it could be eyesight-related. Myopia is a vision condition that affects many children and adults.
The refractive error has become more prevalent with the increasing use of digital screens and limited outdoor time. The condition that develops in early childhood usually gets worse over the years.
Myopia is a refractive condition characterized by blurry distant vision. It usually develops between ages 6 and 14, but it can begin earlier. It affects almost 10% of preschool and school-going children. The refractive error happens when the eye focuses images before reaching the retina.
It results in images that are blurry or out of focus. The condition usually continues to worsen before peaking in early adulthood. Myopia control treatment can halt or slow myopia progression.
Myopia is a result of excessive growth of the eyeball, either growing too quickly or continuing to grow when they should stop. Children’s eyes usually stop growing at about 12 years old.
Various factors can cause abnormal eye growth, including genetics, individual traits, and environment. Children with one or both parents with myopia are highly likely to be myopic. Performing too many nearsighted activities has been linked to myopia development.
Most children do not report vision problems. Many do not realize they have an issue as they cannot compare their eyesight with others. They often assume the blurry vision they experience is normal. Several signs can indicate a child is myopic. They include:
Closing one eye or squinting
Sitting close to the TV
Constant eye rubbing
Sensitivity to light
Some children have a higher likelihood of developing myopia than others. Risk factors include:
Genetics: A child is more likely to develop myopia if they have a parent with the condition
Ethnicity: Studies show that Hispanic and Asian children have a higher risk of childhood myopia
Age: Myopia usually develops between the ages of 6 to 13 and tends to worsen over time until age 21
Myopia is not preventable but can be controllable. Myopia management can slow or halt myopia progression. It is crucial to plan regular eye exams for your child. The doctor can suggest the best treatment option if your child has myopia.
If your child is diagnosed with myopia, the doctor can recommend treatment options. Prescription eyeglasses are the most common option for children. The doctor can also prescribe contact lenses or specialty lenses.
In severe cases, the doctor may suggest refractive surgery. However, eye surgery is not a common option for children. The eye doctor will discuss the best treatment depending on your child’s age, eye condition, and other factors.
The best way to determine if your child has myopia is by scheduling an eye exam. Uncorrected myopia can lead to eyestrain and discomfort. Monitor your child’s school performance to determine if they have difficulties with their eyesight.
For more on common signs of myopia in children, contact Bright Eyes Optometry at our Red Bank, New Jersey office. Call (732) 605-0300 to schedule an appointment today.