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Can Myopia Be Controlled in Kids?

June 1, 2022

If you’ve noticed your child tends to sit too close to the TV screen or has to squint when reading, myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is likely the cause. Corrective eyewear can correct myopia and solves this problem just fine for the short term. However, your child’s eyes are still developing and will continue to do so until she reaches adulthood. This means, your child’s vision may continue to get worse as she gets older. 

The good news is myopia can be controlled in kids. Read on as a Cambrian Park, CA optometrist discusses nearsightedness and how myopia management can slow the rate at which it progresses.

What Causes Nearsightedness?

Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, affects an estimated nine percent of American children, aged five to 17. About five percent of those affected are preschoolers, nine percent are school-aged children, and 30 percent are adolescents. Myopia is a refractive error, meaning the eye misdirects incoming light in a way that makes faraway objects appear blurry. This happens when:

  • The axial length of the eyeball (which is the distance from the front of the eye to the back of the eye) is too long, and/or
  • The cornea is too curved or misshapen

Both of these conditions cause light to focus in front of the retina instead of directly on it. Your retina sits at the back of the eye. It’s responsible for converting incoming light into electrical signals the brain can understand, which the brain then translates into the images we see.

As your child’s eyes continue to grow, the conditions that cause nearsightedness can get worse as the eyes get larger. For these reasons, it’s never too soon to start myopia management for your child, and the sooner the better.

What Is Myopia Management and How Does It Work?

The goal of myopia management works to slow the rate at which your child’s nearsightedness progresses. First off, the optometrist performs a comprehensive eye exam, which includes the use of devices that make it possible to see the interior of the eye. Once the cause of myopia is determined and the overall condition of your child’s eyes examined, the optometrist puts together a plan that spells out the types of treatments that will be used. 

Here are a few of the types of treatments used in myopia management:

  • Myopia control glasses
  • Atropine therapy
  • Orthokeratology
  • Multifocal contact lenses

If you need more information about myopia management or wish to schedule a consultation, please don’t hesitate to call our Cambrian Park, CA optometry office today.