25 Apr How To Prevent The Progression Of Myopia In Children
Myopia, or in other words, nearsightedness, is a common eye condition in children. Myopia can lead to blurry vision, squinting, and headaches. If your child has been recently diagnosed with myopia by an optometrist, you might be wondering if you can prevent the eye condition from worsening. While you cannot fully prevent the occurrence of myopia, you can prevent the progression of myopia in children. Read about some of the ways down below.
1. Limit Screen Time
If your children use handheld screens, like tablets, phones, or others, you might have noticed that they bring the screen extremely close to their eyes, so the images are clearer. Although screens are commonly used today to occupy children, it’s important to limit their screen time to less than 2 hours a day. Screen time of more than 45 minutes without a break has been linked to myopia in children. When your child begins to sit in front of a screen, make sure to set a timer, so you can limit the amount of time they spend viewing it.
2. Increase The Time Spent Outside
With the increase in technology nowadays, the amount of time spent outside by children is certainly decreasing. While indoor play, without screen usage, is still valuable, outdoor play is crucial to decreasing the effects of myopia in children. In fact, studies have shown that spending 3 hours outside in the sun helps lower the risk of myopia. Make sure to monitor the activities your child is participating in and encourage them to spend more time playing outside.
3. Invest In Atropine Eye Drops
If your child with myopia begins experiencing eye fatigue, due to focusing too hard on an object, these drops can help them. Atropine eye drops dilate pupils, so that it can reduce eye fatigue, and therefore, can help control myopia. Although eye drops seem like a simple solution, helping to put eye drops in your child’s eyes might prove very difficult. If your optometrist has told you to invest in atropine eye drops, make sure to go over the process with your child first, so that the entire procedure runs smoothly.
4. Use Orthokeratology
Orthokeratology can also be known as Ortho-k. Ortho-k is simply the custom fitting of contact lenses for individuals with irregularly shaped corneas. For children with myopia, their cornea is too steeply curved, thus making Ortho-k a great option to prevent myopia progression. The Ortho-k lenses are molded specially, so that when it is worn throughout the night, the child’s cornea is reshaped. In the morning, the child can take out the lenses, and they will be able to see clearly without eyeglasses or prescription contact lenses.
5. Get Annual Eye Examinations
Although the methods above are great ways to prevent the progression of myopia in children, getting annual eye exams is the most important step. If your child sees an optometrist once a year, you can diagnose myopia, and other eye conditions, early on. Diagnosing myopia early into its progression is crucial, so the optometrist can provide myopia management or specific treatment as soon as possible. For instance, if you think contact lenses or eye drops will be too difficult to implement with your child, your optometrist might suggest that you purchase eyeglasses with specialized lenses, such as the MyoVision Pro lens or the MyoSmart lens. Lenses like these are a safe, easy, and effective way to reduce myopia progression in children.
If you have noticed signs of myopia in your child, it’s important that you take the proper steps to preventing any further progression of the eye condition. Booking an appointment with an optometrist is the first step to diagnosing and treating an eye condition, like myopia. To book an appointment at Dr D’Orio Eyecare, visit https://drdorioeyecare.com/book-appointment/ or call us at 416-656-2020 for our Toronto location, or 416-661-5555 for our North York location.