Prioritize Your Child’s Eyes!
Back to school is right around the corner! Be sure to schedule an eye exam before the school year starts, and pay attention to whether your child begins complaining of (or engages in) any of the following:
having trouble seeing the board at school
increasing amounts of screen time
If this happens, then it's time to get them checked for myopia! Myopia (nearsightedness) is when close up objects appear clear, but far away objects are blurry. It is incredibly common and affects nearly 30% of the U.S. population – with estimates that by 2050, this number will be up to 50%.
Myopia typically develops in childhood or adolescence, though adults may also develop myopia due to visual stress or conditions like diabetes. It is important to detect and treat myopia as early as possible. Not only does slowing the progression of myopia help preserve your child’s vision, but it also keeps their eyes healthier and at less risk for serious eye conditions later on such as cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal detachment, all conditions that can lead to visual impairment and even blindness.
What are the symptoms and risk factors to be aware of with myopia?
Symptoms of Myopia
Distant objects appear blurry, but close objects are clear (you may notice this if you start to need to hold objects closer and closer in order to see/read clearly)
Needing to squint to be able to see clearly
Family history of myopia
Having a refractive error present from an early age
Prolonged up close activities
Prolonged screen time
Not enough time spent outdoors
A great way to combat the likelihood of myopia is to ensure you and your children have enough time outdoors, away from screens, and are not focusing on up-close objects for extended periods.
For most people with myopia, eyeglasses are the primary method of treatment. Depending on how severely your vision is impacted, you may need to wear glasses all the time or only during certain activities. Contact lenses can also help and may be a better choice for you individually.
At Bright Eyes, we use MiSight contact lenses to treat myopia. These are daily disposable soft contacts designed to slow down the progression of nearsightedness for children. It has been shown that, on average, age-appropriate children wearing MiSight 1-day contact lenses progressed less than -1.00D over 6 years. MiSight lenses are the only FDA-approved for children from 8 to 12, but research has found that they can be beneficial up to age 15. If you have a child with myopia, these lenses are a great option!
If eyeglasses/contacts do not help with your vision, procedures such as laser surgery or other refractive surgery can help to correct your myopia. If your myopia is stress-related, vision therapy may be beneficial.
If you begin to notice these symptoms, schedule an appointment with us. If an exam shows that you or your child have myopia, we will be happy to cover options and help you decide which treatment option will be best!