Jun 1, 2023 | Eye Health Info

Understanding Myopia and How to Manage It: A Guide for Parents

Does your child constantly struggle with blurry vision? If so, they may be suffering from myopia, also known as nearsightedness. Myopia is a common eye condition that affects millions of children and adults around the world. So, what is myopia, what are its symptoms and causes, and how can you manage it to help protect your child’s eyes?  

What is myopia? 

Myopia is a refractive error that occurs when the eyeball is too long, or the cornea (the front part of the eye) is too curved. This causes light to focus in front of the retina, rather than on the retina, which results in blurry distant vision. While myopia can affect people of all ages, it’s more common among children and adolescents. 

What are the symptoms of myopia?  

Recognizing the early signs of myopia in your child is essential for getting them the right treatment. Here are some common symptoms of myopia in children: 

  • Difficulty seeing distant objects clearly 
  • Squinting or closing one eye to see more clearly 
  • Holding objects very close to their face to see them clearly 
  • Complaints of headaches or eye strain 
  • Rubbing eyes frequently 
  • Blinking excessively 
  • Difficulty seeing the board or screen at school 
  • Reduced performance in sports or other activities that require good distance vision 

If your child has any of these symptoms, it’s best to schedule an eye exam with their optometrist. They can help you determine if your child has myopia and create a personalized treatment plan to help them see clearly and comfortably. 

What are the causes of myopia?  

Several factors can contribute to the development of myopia. Genetics plays a significant role, as children with parents who have myopia are more likely to develop the condition. Other factors include too much screen time, not spending enough time outdoors, and focusing on nearby objects for too long. 

How can you manage myopia?  

While there is no cure for myopia, several treatments can help slow down its progression, especially among children. Glasses are one way to correct myopia by focusing light directly on the retina. Contact lenses can also help correct myopia by refocusing the light on your retina.  

At Prairie Vista Eye & Optical in Liberal, we use Wave NightLens® topography-based orthokeratology (or ortho-k) lenses to slow the progression of myopia. Wave NightLens® gently reshapes your child’s cornea while they sleep, allowing light to focus correctly on the retina. The lens uses a special wavefront technology to customize the treatment to the patient’s specific eye shape, ensuring precise and effective treatment.   

Wave NightLens® lenses have been shown to significantly slow down the progression of nearsightedness in children and adolescents. This means that it can help reduce their chances of developing high levels of myopia later in life. Typically, we recommend this type of lens for kids between the ages of 8 and 12 who have progressive myopia. However, these lenses can also be a great option for older children and adults with myopia.  

If you’re looking for advice on managing myopia for your child, give us a call today to schedule an appointment in Liberal! We’ll perform a comprehensive eye exam and recommend the best treatment for your child’s specific needs.