We often discuss vision problem as if they were all age-related. One look at a child was wearing corrective lenses, and you know this is not the way it always goes. Currently, there are more than 10 million children in our country who are living with myopia or nearsightedness. If this condition is not properly diagnosed and treated with eyeglasses, children see the world they live in like a blur. We want our children to get the fullest life experience possible, so we need to understand how the eyes may be affected and how to minimize adverse effects like nearsightedness.
What is myopia?
Nearsightedness is a condition that describes the inability to observe objects that are in the distance. According to statistics, 80% of myopia begins during childhood, with a deterioration of distance vision gradually progressing through these years. The reason that myopia may originate in the first decade of life is that this is the time during which the eyeball itself is growing. When growth is expedited in length only, the oblong shape creates visual distortion.
Why do some children develop myopia and others do not?
Myopia occurs as a type of genetic mishap. A child is at risk if just one parent is nearsighted. If both parents are nearsighted, that risk is higher. But there’s more. Cases of myopia have increased substantially in recent years, leading to questions regarding instigating factors. Research suggests that our way of living may play a role in children’s increased risk for nearsightedness. Primarily, the routine use of small digital devices and computers.
Why This Matters
So, a child has to wear eyeglasses to see clearly at all distances. Is that such a big deal? Science didn’t use to think so, but now we know better. Research has indicated that there is a correlation between nearsightedness and the risk a person has for serious eye disease some time during adulthood. Some of these diseases, such as glaucoma and retinopathy, can cause permanent vision impairment.
We cannot yet prevent eye conditions such as myopia. Parents can, however, advocate for their children by learning more about this refractive error and how it may be managed. Annual exams and stronger glasses may only touch the surface. Additionally, lifestyle habits that minimize screen time may slow the progression of vision errors.
Call Aloha Eye Clinic in Wailuku or Kihei to schedule eye exams for your family.