Is Nearsightedness Common In Children?

Is Nearsightedness Common In Children?

Apr 15, 2023

Nearsightedness in children often develops at the age of 6 – 14. Nearsightedness or myopia happens when objects nearby look clear but distant objects look blurry. Research shows that myopia affects about 5% of preschoolers, 9% of school-aged children, and 30% of adolescents.

A child is more likely to develop myopia if one or both of their parents are nearsighted. The high cases of myopia in children today relate to extended exposure to digital devices like video games and TVs.

Myopia happens when the child’s eyeball is too long, or the cornea is curved too steeply. When light enters the eye, the rays fall just short of the retina, making distant things look blurry while close things look clear. Myopia often gets stabilizes in the early 20s.

Signs that your child might have myopia include:

  • Blurred vision when looking at things at a distance
  • Holding toys, books, and objects too closer to the face
  • Squinting or blinking excessively
  • Frequent headaches
  • Frequent eye rubbing
  • Complaints of not being able to read the board at school
  • Watching TV too close

Is it compulsory for a nearsighted child to wear eyeglasses all the time?

Nearsightedness can affect your child’s learning and overall quality of their life. Therefore, the eye doctor is likely to prescribe eyeglasses to help them see better and far. If you’re wondering whether your child can wear their glasses constantly, the answer is no.

While very helpful, your child should only wear the glasses when necessary, such as when reading or using a computer. Wearing glasses all day could worsen their nearsightedness. Consult an eye doctor near you to determine when and how long they should wear their glasses.

How to improve your child’s nearsightedness naturally?

Fortunately, there are several ways how you can improve your child’s vision and nearsightedness in natural ways. These include:

    • Protect their eyes.

Eye injuries can affect your child’s vision in numerous ways. To protect their eyes from injuries, lock away dangerous toys, objects, cleaners, pesticides, and anything else that can harm their eyes.

If your child plays high-contact sports like hockey and basket, ensure they wear the proper protective gear. When mowing the lawn or swimming, ensure they wear goggles or masks to protect their eyes from chlorine and other impurities.

When engaging in outdoor activities, ensure your child wears sunglasses to protect their eyes from damaging UV rays. Regular exposure to UV rays can affect their vision and lead to other problems like cataracts in the future.

    • Proper diet

It’s essential to feed your child a healthy and well-balanced diet. Certain fruits, vegetables, and fish are rich in essential nutrients like vitamins A, C, and E; zinc and omega-3 fatty acids can improve your child’s eye health and vision. Proper hydration is also essential to keep your child’s eyes moist. It is necessary to wash away debris and prevent dryness which can cause significant discomfort and blurry vision.

    • Get your child to play.

In addition to eating a healthy diet, get your child to play or exercise regularly. Exercise encourages blood and oxygen flow throughout the body, making it helpful for maintaining healthy eyes. Exercises or games also improve hand-and-eye coordination, focus, and eye movements.

    • Limit screen time.

With the easy availability of digital devices like computers, smartphones, video games, and TVs, children are at a greater risk of worsening myopia, digital eye strain, and other eye problems. These problems can lead to headaches, blurred vision, and eye discomfort. Reducing your child’s screen time can help protect your child’s eyes and vision. Set a limit or programs your child can watch to control their screen time.

    • 20-20-20 vision rule

To avoid eye strain or discomfort when reading or watching TV, teach your child about the 20-20-20 eye safety rule. Every 20 minutes, the child should take a 20-second break by looking at an object or something at least 20 feet away.

    • Routine eye exams

Whether your child has eye or vision problems, you should take them for routine eye exams. The eye doctor will examine their eyes for potential diseases or conditions. In case the doctor identifies any problems, they will treat them before it leads to bigger and long-term future issues.

Schedule an Appointment Today.

For more information about nearsightedness in children and its treatments, contact Woodbridge optometry to speak with Dr. Allyson Tang, Optometrist – Vaughan.

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