Myopia In Children: A Guide For Parents

If you have a child diagnosed with myopia, you may be wondering what the next steps are. This common condition means your child sees better when looking at close objects, but struggles seeing at a distance. It is also known as nearsightedness. Learn more about myopia in children: a guide for parents.

Symptoms Of Myopia: A Common Vision Disorder

boy sitting ubfocused glasses in focus

Myopia is more commonly known as nearsightedness. The simple way to explain myopia is that your child has clear vision while reading their books at their desk, but finds it difficult to see the blackboard. Up close work is clear and easily understood, but anything far away becomes blurry.

If your child complains about not being able to see the board, it’s time for an appointment with Pediatric Ophthamology & Strabismus Associates in Newtown Square, PA .

Other signs your child is nearsighted include:

  • Squinting
  • Holding books or other reading materials close to their face
  • Sitting close to the TV
  • Headaches and eye strain

Most children are diagnosed before the age of 12.

If you are nearsighted, it is quite possible your children will also be nearsighted as it runs in families.

Treatments For Myopia

After a thorough examination by Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus Associates, there are several common treatments.

Glasses most likely will be prescribed to be worn all the time, or only when distance vision is needed like playing ball, watching a movie, or seeing the blackboard at school.

Contact lenses are another way to treat myopia if your child is old enough.

In some cases, children may have surgery to correct their nearsightedness.

Studies Show Myopia Is Becoming More Common In Children

The American Academy Of Ophthalmology suggests that myopia is becoming more common among children. The research seems to suggest that the more children utilize smartphones, handheld devices, video games, reading, and other near focused activities while spending less time outdoors, they have higher rates of myopia.

Doctors are looking at ways to slow the progression of myopia in children to keep it from getting worse and protect a child’s eye health in the future despite still needing glasses or contact lenses.

Several options include:

  • Low dose atropine drops can be used for children 5 to 18 years old. They are used at night on a daily basis for several years.
  • Orthokeratology, or Ortho-K, are hard contact lenses (corneal reshaping lenses) worn at night to help flatten the cornea to improve vision. They only work with consistent use.
  • Another type of contact lens known as a peripheral defocus lens is believed to achieve the same. They are difficult to fit and have other issues.

As a parent, you can help to slow the progression of myopia by balancing the hours your child spends doing near vision work with being outdoors. Limit the time they spend on games and devices and encourage outdoor play.

Schedule an Appointment for Myopia Management in Newton Square, PA

At Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus Associates, our highly-trained eye doctors specialize in providing families in Newton Square, PA with the best in eye care. Contact Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus Associates at 610) 347-7672 with any questions and concerns or if your child is nearsighted and needs an evaluation.