What Is Myopia?
Nearsightedness (myopia) is a common vision condition in which you can see objects near to you clearly, but objects farther away are blurry. It occurs when the shape of your eye causes light rays to bend (refract) incorrectly, focusing images in front of your retina instead of on your retina.
Nearsightedness may develop gradually or rapidly, often worsening during childhood and adolescence.
What causes Myopia?
Myopia often occurs because the eyeball grows too long during childhood. Squinting eyes, headaches, eye strain and eye fatigue may be symptoms of myopia. But it’s important to keep in mind that some children may never complain of any symptoms and that is why early childhood eye exams are greatly encouraged. Early childhood eye exams will ensure that your child’s vision problems (if any) are detected early, and treated properly.
Why is my child nearsighted?
Your child may have myopia because of genetics or lifestyle factors. Children whose parents are nearsighted have a higher risk of being nearsighted.
Myopia (nearsightedness) typically begins in childhood although it may stabilize it can continue to progress with age. Children who spend time indoors, close-up activities or hobbies (such as reading, gaming, electronics, hand-held devices, phones, etc.) may have a higher risk of being nearsighted or having myopia. Low levels of vitamin D intake because of poor lighting, reduced time spent outdoors can also increase the risk of myopia.
Is Myopia a growing trend?
Myopia is a major concern, as it is predicted that about 1.5 billion people worldwide are nearsighted. Some countries in Asia, have up to 80% of their population having myopia. And in the U.S. the prevalence of myopia is about 42%.
Even more concerning, is that the rate of myopia is increasing rapidly globally. And it is estimated by the year 2050, roughly half the world population will be nearsighted.
What can I do to manage or control my child’s Myopia?
With more children becoming nearsighted, the growing interest in finding ways to control myopia has increased and we have several options that will help your child slow down their myopia’s progression.
One option is MiSight Contact lenses – MiSight contact lenses are a 1 day contact lens that can:
- Correct distance vision immediately.
- Can slow myopia progression during the growing years.
- Provide a comfortable experience.
- Allow you to avoid the worry of losing or breaking glasses.
- Accommodate a more active lifestyle.
- Children who wear contact lenses have significantly better quality of life than kids wearing glasses, especially regarding athletics and appearance.
Why should I consider slowing down my child’s myopia?
Depending on the severity of your child’s myopia (which ranges from mild to high), they risk the following complications:
- Glaucoma – This condition tends to be more common among adults, although it can still occur at any age. Left untreated, glaucoma can lead to blindness.
- Cataract – Cataracts are the clouding of the lens, resulting in impaired vision. Those who suffer from high levels of myopia are three times more likely to suffer this condition later in life.
- Vision Impairment – Overall, those suffering from high levels of myopia have a 34% higher chance of experiencing some form of vision impairment.
Because of the stretching that occurs with retinal tissue, it makes sense that these patients are at significantly higher risk of retinal detachments, glaucoma, and a host of other ocular diseases later in life, in addition to overall worsening vision.
The severity of the conditions would depend on the level of myopia, which ranges from mild to high. Mild levels of myopia can triple the risk of retinal detachment while moderate levels of myopia can increase by as much as nine times. High levels of myopia are the most worrying as it can result in serious eye conditions later in life. Listed below are the most serious ones:
All About Vision -What You Should Know if Your Child is Nearsighted (Infographic).
MyMyopia – Understanding Your Child’s Myopia infographic
Ophthalmology – Global Prevalence of Myopia and High Myopia and Temporal Trends from 2000 through 2050.
Coopervision -Breakthrough CooperVision MiSight® 1 Day Contact Lens for Childhood Myopia
Arvo Journal – Myopia low levels of vitamin D
All About Vision – Why myopia progression is a concern.
Myopia Control Therapy or Vision Reshaping Therapy can help slow the progression of myopia (nearsightedness) in children.
- All About Vision – What is Myopia Control?
- Ortho-K vs Multifocal Lenses.
- Controlling myopia progression in children and adolescents.