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If you notice your child squints when reading or sits really close to the TV screen, there’s a good chance he has myopia. Commonly known as nearsightedness, treating this condition in kids usually entails an eye exam followed by getting some form of corrective eyewear, such as eyeglasses or contact lenses. And while these steps are necessary, they only address your child’s immediate needs.
Unfortunately, myopia is a progressive condition that can get worse as your child ages. The good news is the rate of myopia progression can be managed. Read on as a Marysville, WA optometrist explains myopia and how myopia management can help protect your child’s vision for years to come.
Myopia affects approximately 30 percent of Americans, adults, and children included. Myopia or nearsightedness is a refractive error of the eyes, meaning the structures that make up the eye don’t focus incoming light in a way that allows for clear vision at long distances. The condition usually becomes apparent during childhood and may continue to worsen until a child’s eyes stop growing.
Here’s a quick breakdown on how your eyes work:
For someone who’s nearsighted, light is projected in front of the retina instead of directly on it. This typically happens when the distance from the front of the eye to the back of the eye is longer than it should be.
Since a child’s eye will continue to grow into his teenage years, so will the structures that make up the eye. This means, there’s a good chance he will require stronger and stronger eyeglass prescriptions, at least until his eyes stop growing. Fortunately, an optometrist can minimize the rate at which nearsightedness worsens by using treatments that are designed to manage myopia.
Myopia management uses a range of treatments to help slow myopia progression. An optometrist does a thorough examination of your child’s (or teenager’s) eyes and puts together a treatment plan based on the condition of his eyes. Treatments commonly used in myopia management include:
The overall goal of myopia management works to keep the level of myopia as low as possible, which will reduce the likelihood of your child developing vision-threatening eye diseases later in life.
If you have more questions or wish to schedule a consultation with an eye doctor, please don’t hesitate to call our Marysville, WA optometry office today.