According to studies, myopia has increased worldwide in recent years and is endemic in children. But through myopia management, professionals can slow down shortsightedness progression at an early age. While myopia can also onset and progress in early adulthood, most cases of myopia start to develop in childhood before the age of 10. How can you tell if your child has myopia?
Myopia is diagnosed using a basic eye exam. Kids with myopia do not complain. However, as a parent, you may notice your child moving closer to objects so that they can see clearly. If you notice your child having trouble seeing things that are far away, book an appointment with an eye specialist.
Doctors can diagnose myopia during an eye health exam or a refraction assessment. When undergoing an eye health exam, the eye doctor places some eye drops to dilate the patient’s pupils. This is to make the eyes more sensitive to light. Dilated pupils help the eye doctor see inside the patient’s eyes better.
During a refraction assessment, an eye doctor uses various instruments to check for eye problems. The problems include presbyopia, astigmatism, farsightedness, or nearsightedness. The patient may also be asked to check through several lenses to test their close-up and distance vision. Professionals emphasize the importance of early intervention. This is done through annual eye exams to help manage and slow down myopia progression.
Nearsightedness may not sound serious. But if left untreated, it can lead to major issues that may extend into adulthood. Over time, myopia can progress, leading to serious vision-threatening conditions. These include glaucoma, macular degeneration, early cataract development, retinal detachments, and even blindness.
Do this as soon as possible. There is no definite age requirement for starting myopia control. If myopia is not controlled and managed in its early stages, it can get worse with age. In children, the condition can get worse during growth spurts of the pre-teen and teen years.
The earlier a child is diagnosed with myopia, the faster his blurred distance vision will worsen. This means that parents should act quickly to slow down myopia progression and reduce the final amount of myopia their child ends up with.
Myopia management strategy includes children wearing glasses or contact lenses. Parents can be hesitant to get their children in this program because they feel they are too young. Younger children may take time to adapt to wearing contact lenses or glasses. However, eye doctors encourage parents to start their children on myopia control as early as possible. Contact lenses especially are safe for children and appear to be safer when worn by kids between the ages of eight and 12.
Myopia does not have a cure. However, doctors can improve a patient's vision by helping focus light on the retina. This is through refractive surgery or the use of corrective lenses. If your child is myopic, you should talk to your eye doctor about which method would be most effective to stop or slow down myopia progression.
To learn more about myopia control, visit Hunter Family Vision at our offices in Leawood or Prairie Village, Kansas. You can also call (913) 681-8555 or (913) 381-2323 to book an appointment today.