Myopia in Children is on The Rise

Myopia in Children is on The Rise: What You Need to Know

There has been a significant increase in cases of myopia in children over the past twenty years. It is beginning to occur in even younger ages (between 8-9 yrs old); when it once was primarily seen in youth aged 12-14. Here’s everything you need to know about this worldwide rise in cases of myopia.

What is Myopia?

Myopia is a vision problem that allows people to see things up close, but not at a distance. It is also commonly referred to as nearsightedness.

What Causes Myopia?

There are many causes of Myopia including:

  • Hereditary factors: most cases of myopia are genetic. In fact, a child is three times more likely to be myopic if one parent has myopia and seven times more likely if both parents have it.
  • Blue Light: the significant increase of time spent in front of screens, computers, tablets, and smartphones that give off blue light can be a factor in the increase of myopia. This is especially relevant in the cases of young children as children are often given technology that emits blue light in order to be entertained.
  • Lack of outdoor activity: being outdoors allows vision to adjust to see far distances. It is important to have this sort of visual stimuli in order to develop this part of your visual capability. If children spend most of their time in front of a screen, they are not given this opportunity.
Preventative Measures You Can Take
  • Limit time spent in front of a digital screen
  • Practice the 20/20/20 rule with your child (every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds)
  • Invest in blue light glasses
  • Increase time spent outdoors. Practice looking at far distances to develop sight
  • Get your eyes checked regularly by your optometrist

Although myopia cases are rising in children, there is always something you can do to help treat it and/or protect your children from developing this condition. Visit Dr. D’Orio to get expert advice about myopia in children. Call us today at 416.656.2020 (Toronto location) or 416.661.5555 (North York location) to book an appointment.

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