Sadly, because of early exposure to gadgets and modern technology, the number of kids suffering from eye diseases is rapidly growing every year. One of the most common eye problems nowadays is myopia in kids. Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is an eye health issue that makes far objects blurry and hard to distinguish. If your child is experiencing its symptoms get help from an eye doctor immediately.
How Myopia in Kids Start
When the doctor diagnosed your child with myopia, that means that they have an eye condition that makes it hard for them to distinguish objects from the distance. They can only see things clearly when it’s near to them. This eye health condition may worsen as they grow up without treatments.
The main cause of myopia in kids differ from several factors. The first reason why it occurs is that it’s genetically inherited. Kids with myopia often get this eye problem from their parents. Other things can also contribute to its progression such as reading a book or using a gadget too close to the eyes.
Another thing that causes myopia in kids is a refractive error where the cornea or lens is not perfectly curved. Due to this, the light rays within the vision will be refracted improperly and lead to a refractive error, hence, myopia.
As a parent, it should be easy for you to determine if your child is exhibiting unusual behaviors or habits. Kids are often not aware that they are suffering from eye diseases because they do not know the symptoms. If you notice your child doing the following signs and symptoms, it’s time to visit an eye doctor:
- Holding books and gadgets too close to the face
- Doing homework with the face almost in contact with the desk
- Wanting to sit close to the television
- Squinting or frequently closing one eye to see objects clearly
- Recurring headaches
- Severe eye-watering
- Always rubbing the eyes
It’s important for you to determine the signs as early as possible to prevent the eye problem from progressing. This eye condition could get worse over time and affect their academic performance as well as their childhood.
Eye doctors suggest that all children must be presented for an eye examination during the following periods:
- Their first eye checkup must conclude at their 6th month.
- The check-up shall be followed at age 3.
- Before entering first grade, kids must’ve had an eye check-up to see if they are fully equipped for school.
- After the 5rs check-up, they need to have regular eye check-ups every 2 years to ensure that eye diseases are not posing any threats to their eyes health.
Complications of Myopia In Kids
Kids are typically very active and curious about a lot of things. Having myopia at an early age can significantly affect their way of living and distress them. This, along with other complications can potentially affect them emotionally.
Below are the most common complications of myopia among kids:
- Abbreviate their quality of life. Nearsightedness will cause them to be unable to perform certain tasks or hobbies that they usually enjoy. It will deprive them of a stress-free childhood experience.
- Eyestrain. Since they are always squinting, eyestrain will occur all the time. This is most common for kids who are already attending school.
- Their safety will be compromised. Because of their inability to see clearly, it would be hard for them to realize if they are in a safe environment or not. This is a very serious matter especially for kids in school since you will not be there to guide them all the time.
- It may cause other eye health problems. Myopia can put your kids at risk of glaucoma, cataracts, and retinal detachment. All of which can add up to their agony of having vision problems.
Managing Myopia in Children
It’s a good thing that eye doctors are always finding conventional treatments to manage myopia in children.
Sadly, myopia cannot be fully reversed. However, there are plenty of ways to manage it such as follows:
- Kids with myopia will be prescribed corrective eyeglasses to prevent the eye condition from getting worse. The goal is to maintain the eye diseases as it is and not let it progress into something worse.
- Children with myopia can use eye drops like low-dose atropine. This eye drop can essentially delay the progression of myopia. Doctors suggest for this to be used for 2 to 3 years along with regular eye checkups.
- They can also be advised to use special contact lenses, specifically peripheral defocus contact lenses. This can be worn by kids starting at 6 years of age and is typically not recommended for younger patients.
- Orthokeratology. This treatment for children uses a special kind of contact lens that kids with myopia wear at night. This flattens the cornea while they are sleeping to make their vision clearer for the next day.