By: Dr. Amber Teten, Chesapeake Pediatric Eye Doctor
Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a common vision problem that pediatric eye doctors see and affects many children. It is caused when the eyeball is too long, or the cornea is too curved, which causes light rays to focus at a point in front of the retina instead of directly on it. In recent years, the prevalence of myopia has been steadily increasing, and the effects on pediatric patients can be severe. Dr. Teten, a pediatric eye doctor, will discuss how myopia affects pediatric patients and what can be done to help them. We’ll also discuss what parents can do to help their children prevent or reduce the effects of myopia. So, if you’re a parent worried about your child’s vision, read on to learn more about how myopia affects pediatric patients.
How Myopia Develops
Myopia is an eye condition that causes distant objects to appear blurry and out of focus. In patients with myopia, because of changes associated with the eyeball’s size or the cornea’s curvature, light entering the eye is focused in front of the retina instead of directly on it. This misalignment can cause distant objects to look blurred while nearby objects are more clearly visible.
Myopia usually develops in childhood, but it can progress until adulthood. It can be genetic, and those with a family history of myopia are likelier to develop the condition. Other factors, like extended screen time, can contribute to myopia development. Many children will start noticing signs of myopia at school age, with many cases not being identified until around 14. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential in slowing down the progression of myopia and preventing severe complications from developing myopia.
For further discussion on the vision effects on learning for children, check out Dr. Teten’s blog.
The Effects of Myopia
Myopia affects a person’s ability to see things clearly in the distance. The most common symptom of myopia is difficulty seeing objects far away, such as street signs or distant mountains. Other signs include headaches, eyestrain, and fatigue when focusing on far-away things.
The effects of myopia can have a significant impact on a person’s life. With myopia, individuals may have difficulty driving at night because of glare and poor depth perception. Myopia can also become problematic for children at school, as one may have trouble focusing on the whiteboard or projector screen. Children with myopia may also experience difficulty participating in activities that require clear vision, such as baseball, tennis, and swimming.
Pediatric patients are particularly at risk for the effects of myopia because they may not understand why they cannot see as well as their peers. Children with myopia may feel frustrated and inadequate, leading to low self-esteem and possibly lower academic performance. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent these issues.
Pediatric Myopia Treatment
Treatment for myopia in pediatric patients is available to help slow the progression of myopia in children and protect their eyes from the long-term effects associated with myopia. Treatment options depend on the child’s age, the condition’s severity, and the patient’s and family’s desires.
Navigation Eye Care is proud to offer misight as an FDA-approved contact lens that helps slow myopia progression in children as young as eight. This particular contact lens is a simple and effective way to correct myopia.
Another option for pediatric myopia treatment is orthokeratology (Ortho-K). This process uses specially designed contact lenses to reshape the cornea overnight while the patient sleeps. The lenses are removed each morning, allowing the patient to see clearly during the day without glasses or contact lenses. Ortho-K can reduce the progression of nearsightedness in children and may even reverse myopia in some cases. Ultimately, there are various treatment options for pediatric patients with myopia. Talking with a pediatric eye doctor to determine the best course of action for your child’s particular case is essential. With early intervention and regular follow-up appointments, it is possible to protect your child’s eyes from further damage due to myopia.
Myopia is a common eye condition that affects many children. Still, several steps can be taken to help prevent the onset or progression of myopia in pediatric patients. Here are some tips to help prevent myopia in your child:
- Encourage outdoor activities: Spending time outdoors, such as playing sports, walking around the neighborhood, or even having a picnic in the park encourages kids to look at distant objects, which helps focus and strengthen the eyes.
- Limit screen time: Kids are spending more and more time looking at screens, whether playing games on their tablets or watching TV. Too much screen time can cause the eyes to become strained and overworked, increasing myopia.
- Use protective eyewear: If your child plays contact sports or participates in other activities where their eyes could be at risk of injury, make sure they wear protective eyewear. Protective eyewear prevents potential eye damage and can help reduce the chance of developing myopia.
- Visit a pediatric eye doctor: Regular visits to the eye doctor for an eye exam can help detect any changes in your child’s vision and can help detect myopia early so that it can be treated quickly and effectively.
Myopia prevention is essential in keeping your child’s vision healthy and Strong. Following these tips can help reduce your child’s risk of developing myopia and ensure their vision stays healthy.
Read here for further discussion on the importance of myopia management from Dr. Teten.
So, if you have a child and need to get their eyes checked out by a qualified pediatric eye doctor, we encourage you to call the Navigation Eye Care team at 757-529-6889 or schedule an appointment. We are equipped and prepared to care for you and your whole family. If you are looking for excellent service in a friendly manner, check us out. We highly recommend that you choose Navigation Eye Care when looking for a top eye doctor in Chesapeake. We will serve in Chesapeake for many years and can’t wait to see you and your family.