If your child is experiencing nearsightedness, or myopia, it means that they can clearly see objects that are close, but objects in the distance look blurry or out of focus. In a school setting, this means they have no trouble seeing the pencil and paper at their desk, but they may have difficulty reading what is written on the smart board at the front of the room.
What Causes Myopia
Myopia occurs when the eyeball is too long from front to back, or if the cornea is too curved. This causes the eye’s lens to focus an image in front of the retina, instead of on the retina, resulting in distant objects looking blurred. Heredity is thought to play a large part in the development of myopia, and a child has a greater chance of experiencing the condition if both parents also suffer from it. Other evidence points to environmental factors such as lack of time spent outdoors or excessive time spent on close-up work such as reading or working on computers as a possible cause.
Diagnosis of Myopia
A comprehensive eye exam performed by an experienced optometrist like Dr. Martin at Family Vision Development Center is the way to detect myopia in children. Often, kids will not mention that they are having difficulty with their vision, and standard vision screenings at school will not detect myopia. That’s why it is important to keep them on a regular schedule when it comes to eye exams. Kids should get their vision checked at 6 months, 3 years old, before kindergarten, then annually after age 5.
Treatment of Myopia
The most common form of treatment for myopia in children is with prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. The right choice will depend on the age and maturity level of the child and should be discussed with your eye doctor. Regular exams will be necessary, as prescription strengths may need to be increased as the child gets older.
Family Vision Development Center is a full service vision care provider, offering eye care services for the entire family. We emphasize preventative care as well as specialized treatment for many eye diseases and conditions. Call 630-862-2020 for more information or to schedule an appointment.