According to eye and vision specialists, myopia, or nearsightedness, is rising among children and young adults. A malfunction in the way the eye refracts light causes this condition. It results in objects at a distance appearing blurry, while those close up remain clear.
Eye doctors often discover myopia in kids between 8 and 12. If left untreated, it can worsen during the teenage years. Experts predict that by 2050, it will affect 50 percent of the world's population.
Eye care professionals believe increased near work and lack of time spent outdoors contribute to the rising prevalence of nearsightedness among kids. Specialists in myopia correction, such as optometrists, can provide treatment options for those affected by this condition.
Problems with eye development and vision can result in various visual impairments. These include nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. These are often correctable with glasses, contact lenses, or surgery.
There is a relationship between eye development and myopia in children. Studies suggest that kids who experience rapid eye growth during childhood are at an increased risk of developing myopia. Rapid eye growth can occur due to insufficient time spent outdoors or prolonged near work.
Preventive measures to slow down myopia progression in children include the following:
Reducing the amount of near work
Increasing the amount of time spent outdoors
Using specialized glasses or contact lenses
Nearsightedness can present in children in various ways. Some common symptoms to look out for include the following:
Blurred vision when looking at distant objects
Difficulty seeing the blackboard or television clearly
Squinting or straining the eyes to see better
Headaches or eye fatigue after reading or other close-up tasks
Holding books or other objects too close to the face
Consistently poor performance in school or sports
Eye doctors typically perform a comprehensive eye exam to identify nearsightedness. During the examination, an eye doctor or optometrist will gauge the child's visual acuity or capacity to see clearly at various distances. They might also measure the child's refractive error using a retinoscope device.
The eye doctor may check the child's eye health and examine the retina, cornea, and other eye structures. The exam will involve measuring visual acuity and refractive error. The eye doctor will determine the degree and type of myopia using specialized testing techniques like cycloplegic refraction or topography, which measure the cornea's shape.
Kids should undergo regular eye exams, especially if they exhibit specific symptoms. These include recurrent headaches, trouble seeing objects in the distance, or squinting. It is best to treat this condition early to slow its progression and avert further vision issues.
It is important to note that some kids may not experience any symptoms. If you suspect your little one may have this condition, it is best to schedule an eye exam with a pediatric eye doctor. They can perform a comprehensive eye exam and determine if myopia is present and the severity of the condition.
For more information on myopia in kids or to schedule an appointment, call Inland Family Optometry at our Rancho Cucamonga or Chino, California offices. Call (909) 345-6100 for Rancho Cucamonga or (909) 345-9809 for Chino.