As a parent, you want the best for your child. That includes keeping them safe and healthy. As part of that, it’s important to have their eyes checked based on a schedule provided by an ophthalmologist. That way, they’ll have good vision and healthy eyes. Especially when they’re ready to start school, it’ll help them excel.
Kids can have all kinds of eye problems. However, one, in particular, stands out. That’s myopia, otherwise known as nearsightedness. Although common, studies show that myopia is on the rise. Not only that, but it’s targeting an increasing number of children.
Currently, this eye disorder affects one in every three people. Sometimes, it’s present at birth, while other times, it develops. Most often, doctors diagnose children between eight and 12 years of age. Because it can worsen during their teens, it’s important to have it corrected as quickly as possible.
As a type of refractive error of the eye, it makes things at a distance appear blurry. Usually, it’s hereditary but not always. With this condition, there’s too much distance between the cornea and the retina. As a result, light focuses at the front of the retina as opposed to on the retina.
You can take certain steps to reduce the risk of your child developing myopia. However, even if they become nearsighted, an eye specialist can recommend different treatment options. Often, that entails them wearing glasses or contact lenses. The worst thing you could do is nothing. Again, myopia worsens with age.
Without prevention or the proper treatment, children can develop secondary problems as they grow older. Some of these include macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal detachment. All of these eye conditions can potentially lead to blindness. That shows just how important it is to control myopia.
Besides genetics, many things can lead to myopia in children. However, eye doctors warn about two specific contributing factors. First, screen time on smartphones, laptop computers, and tablets. Second, not spending adequate time outdoors.
As a parent, you’ll want to limit the time your child spends on digital devices. Also, encourage them to go outside. Focusing on things at a distance will help screen with the development of their eye muscles.
For digital devices, some of the country’s leading ophthalmologists suggest no time for children under the age of two. For those between two and five, they should only have one hour of screen time per day. From five to 18, they shouldn’t use smartphones, computers, or tablets for more than two hours a day.
Having your child’s eyes screened early is the most effective way to prevent and treat myopia. So, at the age of six months, schedule an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam and assessment. The earlier you start, the better chance of ensuring excellent vision and health.
For more information on pediatric myopia control, visit Performance Vision Center in Winter Park, Florida. Please call 407-890-0201 to discuss any questions with our team of experts or to schedule an eye exam today.