Does your child wear glasses for viewing things in the distance like watching TV or seeing the board at school? Did he or she start wearing glasses at young age? Does the glasses prescription worsen each year? A children's vision exam should be perfomed every 6-12 months to assess eye and vision changes.
What is Myopia
Myopia is being near-sighted; it is the medical term for not being able to see in the distance. Myopia is the result of a slightly longer eye than normal. Due to the increased length, the light falls in front of the retina instead of on the retina as it should. When you have Myopia, you vision is blurry, and you are unable to make it clear without the use of glasses or contacts. Myopia typically can appear during childhood or it may appear with increased near work during college, graduate school or with a job.
Genetic and environmental conditions have an influence on the development of myopia. Children whose parents wear glasses and/or spend a lot of time reading or performing computer activites are more at risk. Children who spend more time indoors are at risk. Even if a child's parents don't wear glasses, kids have a 1 in 4 chance of developing Myopia due to screen time.
How is Myopia Treated?
As children get taller and the near demand from education increases, their prescription increases yearly through adolescence. In the past, eye doctors have just increased their prescription as eyes worsen. Today, there is a change in thinking. How do we prevent prescriptions from worsening?
The FDA has just approved the first daily soft lens for treating children's vision. MiSight contact lenses have been show to reduce the progression by 50%. By changing the way the light falls on the retina, wearing a soft lens for 10 hours a day can slow the progression. Research studies have shown contact lenses can be very safe for kids with proper training and very satisfying for kids to wear. Children prefer to wear contacts over glasses especially for athletics.
Why should Myopia be treated?
Why prevent Myopia from worsening vs. giving a higher prescription each year? Higher glasses and contact prescriptions can limit a child's options for correction later on in their lives. It may eliminate them from being a Lasik surgery candidate. The higher the RX, the more dependent on glasses they become for daily life. Most important, we know there is a correlation between high Myopia and eye disease and conditions. Patients with myopia have an increased risk of Glaucoma, Myopic Maculopathy, retinal detachments, and cataracts. All of these can potentially decrease vision permanently. It's extremely important for a child's future to eliminate Myopic progression.