Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is an eye condition that often begins in childhood. If your eye doctor diagnoses your son or daughter with myopia, it means that your child can see things close-up, but has trouble seeing things that are farther away. While you may be worried to know that your child is nearsighted, it’s important to understand that 20% of children suffer from myopia and other refractive errors, according to the Boston Children’s Hospital. In fact, myopia is the most common refractive eye error seen in children. A refractive error occurs when the eye does not focus the light that enters it, which can result in blurred vision. Concerned your child may be having vision problems? Check out our Children’s Eye Health Quiz!

 

How Myopia Can Affect Your Child in School

Myopia can have a tremendous impact on your child’s ability to learn in school. Most children with myopia have trouble seeing distant objects. This can lead to serious eye fatigue, as your child strains his or her eyes to see the chalkboard and teaching materials across the classroom. As your child struggles to focus on objects in the distance, he or she may find it difficult to keep up with lessons and the information being presented. Vision plays a critical role in the classroom, and in order for your child to be successful he or she will need to see the learning materials to digest information and participate in classroom activities. If you’re concerned your child may be nearsighted, visit your local MyEyeDr. eye care center for a children’s eye exam.

 

Poor Eyesight & Academic Performance

Childhood myopia is difficult to diagnose because most of the time, children have a difficult time recognizing when something is wrong with their vision. Many children are quite about their vision problems because they don’t realize how they should be seeing things. Unfortunately, this can lead to problems at school. If a child cannot see well, he or she may miss key information presented in class, hindering academic progress. Many children with nearsightedness have trouble reading and counting, and undiagnosed eye conditions can hinder the development of literacy skills. This is one reason why it’s so important to schedule regular eye exams with your pediatric eye doctor.

 

Is Myopia or Nearsightedness Common in Children?

Myopia is very common in children. In fact, there are 12.8 million children throughout the world who are visually impaired because of nearsightedness. According to the Institute for Control of Eye Myopia in Children, at least 1 in every 10 children have some kind of vision problem that may affect their eye health.

 

Why Are Kids Nearsighted?

Myopia affects young children because their eyes are still growing. Most kids between the ages of 6 and 12 develop nearsightedness. This can have a negative impact on a child’s school experience as he or she struggles to see the board.

 

What Does it Mean if My Child is Myopic?

If your family eye doctor diagnoses your child with myopia, it means he or she is nearsighted and objects that are far away appear blurry. Luckily, there are a handful of myopic treatment options that can help reduce the symptoms of myopia and nearsightedness.

 

Is My Child at Risk of Myopia if I am Nearsighted?

Studies have shown that children have a higher risk of myopia or nearsightedness if their parents have been diagnosed with the eye condition.

 

What Causes Myopia in Children?

There are a few known causes of myopia or nearsightedness in children. Some studies say that myopia may be hereditary. If your child spends countless hours playing videogames, watching TV, browsing the internet, or looking at a cell phone or table, they may experience symptoms of nearsightedness.

 

Can Myopia be Prevented?

Because nearsightedness is inherited, there is no surefire way to prevent the eye condition. To stay on top of your child’s eye health and possible myopia progression, it is essential that your child has regular eye exams.

 

What are Symptoms of Myopia in Children?

Children with myopia usually have trouble reading the blackboard at school. If your child sits extra close to the TV or computer, they may be suffering from symptoms of nearsightedness. Some common symptoms of myopia in children include:

 

  • Headaches
  • Squinting
  • Sitting too close to the television
  • Nausea after reading
  • Holding books too close to the face
  • Excess watering of the eye
  • Constant rubbing of the eye

 

What are the Treatments for Myopia in Children?

While there is no cure for myopia in children, there are treatments that can help correct the symptoms of the eye condition. Once your child has an eye exam with your local optometrist, he or she will be able to recommend the best treatment for your child’s nearsightedness. Some eye doctors recommend prescription eyewear, contact lenses, eye drops or vision therapy.

 

How Can Vision Therapy Help My Child’s Myopia?

If your family eye doctor conducts an eye exam on your child and finds that he or she has symptoms of myopia or nearsightedness, they may recommend that your child undergoes vision therapy. Vison therapy is a nonsurgical way to treat eye conditions like myopia, while also improving your child’s ocular skills. It is an effective way to improve your child’s eye and brain relationship which can have a positive impact on their learning experience. If you have any questions about vision therapy, contact an eye care associate at a MyEyeDr. near you.

 

Are My Child’s Headaches due to Nearsightedness?

If your child is having frequent headaches, nearsightedness may be the cause. Headaches are one of the most common symptoms of myopia in children. If your child is experiencing headaches on a regular basis, contact your local family eye doctor to schedule an eye exam.

 

How Can I Slow the Progression of Myopia in My Child?

Family eye doctors have tried several techniques to slow the progression of myopia in children. From prescribing bifocal and contact lenses to eye drops and vision therapy, your eye doctor will know the best myopia treatment for your child.

 

Do Environmental Factors Influence my Child’s Myopia?

Absolutely. Environmental factors can influence myopia in both children and adults. For example, if your child spends a lot of time in front of the television or playing video games, this may increase your child’s risk of nearsightedness. Some optometrists recommend limiting your child’s screen time from TVs, computers, tablets, and smartphones to help reduce their risk of myopia.

 

How is Myopia Diagnosed in Children?

There are a handful of eye tests and procedures optometrists uses to test for nearsightedness in children. These procedures measure how a child’s eyes focus on light, which helps to determine the power of optical lenses needed to correct the myopia symptoms. When you visit your local eye doctor for a children’s eye exam, your optometrist may have your child do the following:

 

  • Identify letters, numbers and colors on a distance chart. This type of vision test helps to identify vision acuity.
  • Use an instrument called a phoropter to learn how your child’s eyes focuses on light. This requires the eye doctor to place a series of lenses in front of your child’s eyes.

 

How Can I Slow the Progression of Myopia in my Child?

There are a few things you can do to slow down the progression of your child’s myopia or nearsightedness. Your family eye doctor may recommend that your child spend more time outdoors. Some research has discovered that children who spend about 90 minutes in natural sunlight each day have slower rates of myopia progression. This will ensure your child has time away from his or her phone, tablet, computer, or TV screen so they can give their eyes a rest. Whether it’s spending time at the park, taking a walk around the neighborhood, or playing basketball in the driveway, ensuring your child spends time outdoors can help slow the progression of myopia.

 

What Are the Risks of Progressive Myopia in Kids?

As its name suggests, progressive myopia is a more severe type of nearsightedness. The biggest risk of progressive myopia in children is the quality of their future vision. Some other risks of myopia include more serious eye conditions like glaucoma, retinal detachment, and even cataracts.

 

Will a Vision Test Detect Myopia in My Child?

A vision test or eye test from a certified optometrist will help determine whether your child is nearsighted. A myopia vision screening or a nearsightedness vision test will help screen your child for myopia.

 

Children’s Myopia Testing at MyEyeDr.

If you’ve started to notice your child squinting or having a difficult time in school, it may be time to schedule an annual eye exam. At MyEyeDr. eye care centers, our pediatric optometrists can help diagnose your child’s vison problems and recommend the best treatment solution for them. To find the closest MyEyeDr. near you, visit our location page. We accept all types of vision insurance plans so we can provide our patients with affordable eye care services and eyewear. Our eye care associates look forward to seeing you!