More than 40 percent of adults in America have myopia. What is alarming is that this number continues to increase each year, with myopia now affecting children as young as three years old. According to studies, myopia currently occurs in nearly half of all school-aged children, and this has the potential to affect the children’s education and overall quality of life.
Unfortunately, most parents do not understand myopia and the warning signs on their own. Thus, they are unable to seek help early to slow down its progression in their children. Vision changes can be subtle in children; most parents only notice these changes after their children complain about blurriness in their vision. The first step to preventing the harmful side effects of myopia is knowing the disease’s early signs.
One of the signs that your child may have myopia is holding objects too close to the face. You will also notice they are sitting too close to the TV to see clear images or holding a book close to their face. Along with blurred vision, your child may also complain of frequent headaches.
Other signs of myopia include a child constantly squinting, closing one eye when reading, having difficulty with sports, and frequently rubbing the eyes. If you notice any of these signs, do not be too quick to pass them off as just childhood quirks. Take your child to get a comprehensive eye exam as soon as possible.
The most effective way to diagnose myopia is to take your children for regular eye exams from a young age. Eye doctors recommend taking your child for regular eye exams at least twice a year as early as the age of six months. Early diagnosis of myopia can help your doctor slow down its progression and reduce the risk of more severe vision problems such as:
Today, children spend less time outdoors and more time sitting in front of digital gadgets. Being exposed to the sun helps kids develop eye focus. Children who remain indoors most of the time operate with dim, artificial lighting, which is not beneficial to their sight.
To prevent your child from developing nearsightedness, you can suggest the following:
Spending more time outdoors
Phase out or reduce reading in dim light
Spend less time on digital gadgets such as smartphones or tablets
If your child already has myopia, that does not have to limit them. Early diagnosis helps eye doctors to correct myopia in children by closely monitoring changes in their eyes. During this time, your child can still enjoy clear vision. Recent studies show that there are steps to help slow down myopia progression. After a series of tests, your eye doctor may recommend using contacts, glasses, or other treatments.
To find out more information about myopia warning signs or to schedule an appointment for your child, call San Marcos Vision Center at our office in San Marcos, Texas at (512) 890-0660.