Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is the most common refractive error of the eye. If your child has been recently diagnosed with myopia, he or she is among the 30% or more of the U.S. population with the same or similar eye condition. Myopia blurs distance vision and can adversely affect a child’s school performance, but is easily treated with eyeglasses or contact lenses.
HOW IS MYOPIA CAUSED?
Myopia is almost entirely caused by one’s genetic predisposition. Like all of the refractive errors (needing glasses), the defocused image is caused by a mismatch of the length of the eye compared to the focusing power at the front of the eye. With myopia, one could say that the eye is “too long” and glasses are needed to help the light rays focus on the back of the eye properly.
If you or your spouse have myopia, your child is more likely to develop it. However, many children develop myopia even if neither parent has it (or vice versa), in the same way, that a child may end up being shorter or taller than a parent. Research is constantly being done to determine if any environmental factors increase one’s risk for myopia or if there is any way to slow down its progression. There is some evidence to suggest that more time playing outside can slightly decrease how much myopia a person will develop.
HOW DO I KNOW MY CHILD HAS MYOPIA?
The best way to determine if your child has myopia is to take them for an eye exam. If your child has myopia and it hasn’t been diagnosed, he or she may experience symptoms such as headaches, eye fatigue or eye strain. He or she may have a difficult time reading and may even have a hard time keeping up with school work.
HOW IS MYOPIA TREATED?
If your little one has been diagnosed with myopia that is significant for their age, their doctor will prescribe eyeglasses for them. Depending on the degree of the condition, your child may need to wear their lenses at all times or only during school or particular circumstances. It may take some time for your child to adjust to their new lifestyle with glasses or contacts. Click here for tips on how to encourage your child to wear his or her glasses!
Get In Touch With Pediatric Eye Care Today
Pediatric Eye Care of Maryland takes your child’s eye health very seriously. With a full staff of highly skilled Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, and Orthoptists we’ve got ocular health covered. If you feel any concern about your child’s vision, have questions concerning eye health, or need information on the services we offer contact us today. With 4 convenient locations in Maryland, we are your number one choice for eye treatment.