We often see our kids scrunching up their cute little faces or squinting to see something far away. As parents, most of us are aware of the potential red flag of this behaviour and of a long-term problem brewing.
Myopia, otherwise known as near-sightedness or short-sightedness, is a Refractive Error in eyesight which is prevalent in many adults today because it wasn’t detected in early childhood.
According to research cited in: https://avehjournal.org/index.php/aveh/article/view/551/1322 a sample of school-going children aged 6-18 years, showed that 7.1% who had their eyes tested, were found to have Refractive Errors, particularly Myopia.
Although the above is based on a small sample, the population percentage may be higher. Many children don’t think they have a problem because reading a book is easy but seeing objects further away is often blurry. They think this is “normal”!
Testing your child’s eyes is very important as Myopic issues occur early on, worsening in their teens and early twenties. Although research has proven that the majority of Myopia cases are linked to genetics, several environmental and lifestyle factors can make the problem worse.
Remember how your parents drummed into you that sitting too close to the TV, sitting too long in front of the computer or playing too many video games was bad for you? They were right! Anything that strains your child’s eyes plays a factor in the long-term development of Myopia. With computers and smartphones, try to instil a screen time schedule so they are not spending too much time glued to the screen.
Treatment is fundamental
The digital generation spends way too much “screen time” indoors and less time outdoors. It’s suggested that playing outside can help with Myopia and other Refractive Errors later on, as long as UV eye protection is given a top priority as well. Furthermore, a walk in the park or playing sports is necessary not only for healthy eye development but for a well-balanced lifestyle as well.
Besides corrective glasses being the best solution, there are other more invasive treatments like surgery that can assist. However, it’s not recommended for young children to have LASIK eye surgery, but rather for parents to be more vigilant with regular eye tests.
At Vision Works, we take your child’s eyesight seriously and we plan to continue doing early detection screenings at selected schools. The best solution is to book a screening at your nearest Vision Works Optometrists and encourage your children to keep you informed if they experience blurry vision or can’t see far away. Remember, at Vision Works Optometrists, children 6 to 12 years get a FREE comprehensive eye test (Ts and Cs apply).
At Vision Works, we take your child’s eyesight seriously and are planning to do early detection screenings at selected schools in the future.
The best solution is to book a screening at your nearest Vision Works Optometrists and encourage your children to keep you informed if they experience blurry vision or can’t see far away.