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When to Bring Your Child in for Myopia Management

May 8, 2023

Is your child growing restless in class? Are they opting for the floor over the couch when playing video games? Do you find them squinting at far away objects? These changes in behavior could be due to myopia, more commonly known as nearsightedness. 

By 2050, scientists estimate that it will affect over half of the world’s population, and it could be the cause of changes in your child’s ability to see, engage with, and comprehend the world around them. Here are some warning signs you should look for and what to do if you think your child is suffering from nearsightedness. 

Signs of Myopia

The signs of myopia in children can be subtle and easy to miss, especially if your child is very young and still learning what’s normal and what isn’t when it comes to their vision. You should talk to your child’s eye doctor if: 

  • They squint when they have to look at things at a distance 
  • They bring items closer to their face to inspect them 
  • They sit closer to the television or lean into the screens on their devices
  • They’re less engaged in schoolwork, especially if seated farther away

If your child is old enough, simply asking them if they can read a word or identify an object that you’re holding up far away from them might confirm in your mind that they have myopia, but the best thing if you suspect anything less than perfect vision is to head to the optometrist for a closer look. 

Can Myopia Be Treated? 

Myopia can not be reversed and the easiest way to manage it is with a pair of prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. However, because myopia is becoming so common, especially in children, doctors are looking for ways to manage it. For instance, low-dose atropine eye drops may be used to slow the progression of myopia, helping to preserve your child’s vision for longer. 

Contact lenses are also being used. One is a special type known as peripheral defocus contact lenses, which can help children between the ages of 6 and 12 by blurring their peripheral vision, which has been shown to slow the progression as well. On the other hand, Ortho-K lenses are worn while a child sleeps to gently reshape the cornea, temporarily reversing myopia for the following day. Not all of these solutions are right for every child, but it is worth talking about.

Ultimately, if you think that your child may have myopia or any other eye condition, getting a proper diagnosis sooner rather than later will help protect their eyes for the lifetime to come. 

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