What You Should Know About the Increase of Myopia in Kids
Myopia is one of the most common eyesight problems in childhood. Many kids between the ages of 5-17 are myopic or nearsighted. These kids can see things up close but have difficulty seeing things at a distance. Kids are often diagnosed with myopia in first or second grade when they struggle to see the class board. There has been an increase in myopia in the last couple of years.
How Myopia Happens
Myopia usually occurs when the eyeball grows too long from the front to the back. When vision is normal, the light that enters the eye will focus directly on the retina. This is what creates a clear vision. When someone has myopia, light focuses in front of instead of directly on the retina, which leads to blurred vision. The fact that it is impossible to make the eyeball shrink means that myopia is incurable.
Prevalence of Myopia
There has been a considerable surge in the number of kids with myopia in the last decade. Nearsightedness is a serious problem today, and it is continuing to grow steadily. The exact reason for the increase in myopia is unknown. However, genetics and environmental factors play a role. If two parents have myopia, there is a high likelihood that their child will develop the condition as well. There has also been talk about the increasing use of technology or screen usage from an early age.
Wearing Corrective Lenses
Parents need to know that corrective lenses are important for kids with myopia. There has been a misperception that wearing corrective lenses makes eyes get worse over time. Myopia increases as the eyes continue to grow. The reality is that not using the corrective devices often puts the kids at risk for getting vision-related conditions. Using the lenses allows kids to see effectively.
Developing Eye Diseases
The increase of myopia in kids means that the risk of developing other eye diseases is much higher. Those who develop myopia in childhood are predisposed to certain eye diseases as they get older. These kids might end up developing conditions like retinal detachment, macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma. These are eye conditions that can lead to vision loss. To prevent this, it is essential to take steps early on to control myopia in kids.
Slowing Progression of Myopia
Parents must understand that there are ways to control the progression of myopia. According to research, spending time outdoors each day is a great start. Kids who spend at least two hours in natural sunlight every day tend to experience slower rates of progression. The eyes get a break, even as they look at things further away. It is, however, important to protect the eyes from UV light by wearing hats and sunglasses. Taking regular breaks and using good indoor lighting is helpful.
Some treatment options can help to control myopia. They include using soft multifocal contact lenses, low dose atropine eye drops, and orthokeratology contact lenses. If you are worried about your child’s eyesight, visit a pediatric optometrist immediately.
To know more about myopia in kids, visit Advanced Vision Institute at our office in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can also call 702-819-9800 to book an appointment today.