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Definition of
Myopia in children

Myopia in children has become a significant public health concern as its prevalence has been increasing globally. Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a common refractive error where distant objects appear blurry while close objects can be seen clearly.

Risk factors for
Myopia in children

  • Genetic Factors
  • Environmental Factors
  • Age of Onset
  • School-related Factors
  • Screen Time
  • Ethnicity
  • Corrective Measures

Symptoms

Blurry Distance Vision

Children with myopia will often have difficulty seeing objects in the distance clearly. This may be evident when they are watching TV, reading a whiteboard at school, or recognizing people or objects at a distance.

Squinting is a natural response to try to improve focus. If a child is squinting frequently, it may be a sign that they are struggling to see clearly.

Myopic children may experience eye strain, especially during activities that require clear distance vision. This can lead to discomfort, headaches, or fatigue.

Children with myopia may rub their eyes frequently, especially if they are experiencing eye strain or fatigue.

Children with myopia may sit very close to the TV or hold electronic devices close

Myopia can make it challenging for children to see clearly in a classroom setting, especially if they have trouble reading information on a chalkboard or whiteboard.

If a child is experiencing vision problems, it may impact their academic performance. They may have difficulty reading materials in the classroom or completing assignments.

Spending time outdoors has been associated with a lower risk of myopia. Children with myopia may avoid outdoor activities that require good distance vision.

It’s important to note that children may not always be aware of their vision problems or may not communicate them clearly. Regular eye check-ups, even in the absence of apparent symptoms, are crucial for early detection and management of myopia. If parents or caregivers notice any of these symptoms, consulting with an eye care professional for a comprehensive eye examination is recommended. Early intervention can help manage myopia effectively and improve a child’s overall eye health and well-being.

Treatment Types

Daily atropine drops

The use of atropine eye drops as a treatment to slow down the progression of myopia (nearsightedness) in children is an area of active research and clinical interest. Atropine is a medication that dilates the pupil and temporarily paralyzes the ciliary muscle in the eye, which is responsible for focusing on near objects.

Contact lenses, including soft or rigid gas-permeable lenses, can be prescribed to reduce myopic progression for older children and teenagers. They provide an alternative to eyeglasses and may offer improved peripheral vision.

Multifocal contact lenses are designed to correct both distance and near vision. They may be used for managing myopia progression in certain cases.

Encouraging children to spend more time outdoors has been associated with a lower risk of myopia development and progression. Outdoor activities should be balanced with screen time and near work.

 

Educational programs and initiatives promoting good visual habits, proper posture, and regular breaks during near work can contribute to overall eye health.

Routine eye examinations are crucial for monitoring myopia progression, updating prescriptions, and ensuring overall eye health. Early intervention is key to managing myopia effectively.

It’s important to note that the choice of treatment depends on various factors, including the child’s age, the severity of myopia, lifestyle, and the preferences of the child and parents. Close collaboration with an eye care professional is essential to determine the most suitable treatment plan. Regular follow-up appointments are crucial to monitor the child’s vision and adjust interventions as needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

How common is myopia in children?
The prevalence of myopia in children has been increasing globally. Genetic and environmental factors contribute to its development, and lifestyle changes may play a role in the rising prevalence.
Symptoms may include blurry distance vision, squinting, eye strain, frequent rubbing of eyes, sitting close to the TV or screen, difficulty seeing the chalkboard or whiteboard at school, and changes in academic performance.

Myopia is diagnosed through a comprehensive eye examination conducted by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. The examination includes visual acuity tests, refraction assessments, and an evaluation of the overall health of the eyes.

While genetic factors play a role, certain lifestyle modifications may help reduce the risk of myopia. Encouraging outdoor activities, limiting screen time, and adopting good visual habits are among the preventive measures.

Treatment options include eyeglasses, contact lenses, orthokeratology (Ortho-K), pharmaceutical interventions (such as low-dose atropine), and myopia control lenses. The choice of treatment depends on factors like the child’s age, the severity of myopia, and individual needs.