Myopia is the medical term for nearsightedness, an ocular condition that affects distance vision. It is rapidly becoming more pervasive worldwide. If left untreated in childhood, it can lead to deteriorated eyesight and the development of more serious ocular disorders such as glaucoma, cataracts, and retinal detachment. Early intervention is essential to slow its progression and prevent these more severe complications. Fortunately, there are many interventions to improve vision and stop myopia progression. With appropriate measures, children can achieve a higher quality of life with improved distance vision.
The following article is intended as a general overview of the symptoms and treatments of this disorder, and not as a diagnostic tool. Contact an optometrist if you suspect that you or your child may have myopia or if you want to follow-up on a previously diagnosed case of myopia.
Years of research provide evidence that environmental and hereditary risk factors play a role in this disease.These include:
Common signs of nearsightedness include:
Nearsighted children often have to stand close to the classroom whiteboard to take notes.
Routine eye examinations are essential for detecting and treating ocular disorders, as well as for checking general visual acuity and overall ocular health.There are various ways to treat myopia. These include various forms of corrective prescription contacts, corneal reshaping measures such as ortho-k, multifocals, low-dose medicated eye drop therapy, and refractive surgery. The latter option is usually inappropriate for children.
Parents need to help manage their nearsighted child's eye care and inculcate the importance of good practices, in accordance with their age and maturity. This includes:
The prevalence of myopia across the world has been recognized for some time now. Thanks to advances in medical technology, there are many effective treatments to treat myopia, by improving distance vision and preventing the progression of this disorder. If your child is showing possible signs of myopia, or if you just want to discuss options for previously diagnosed nearsightedness, speak with your optometrist to find out more.