Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a common refractive error. If a person has this condition, they can see objects closeup clearly, but objects in the distance appear blurry. Myopia can develop gradually or rapidly, and often during childhood and adolescence. If your child has been diagnosed with myopia, the professionals at Pathway Eye can prescribe myopia control methods to slow the condition's progression. This can preserve your child's eyesight so they won't need a very high prescription later in life.
What Causes Myopia?
Although anyone can develop myopia, it often runs in families. If you are nearsighted, your child has a higher risk of being nearsighted. If both of your child's parents are nearsighted, the risk increases significantly. Some studies have shown that children who don't spend enough time outdoors are at greater risk of becoming nearsighted.
Symptoms of Myopia
As mentioned earlier, myopia causes objects in the distance to appear blurry. If your child has myopia, there are several other symptoms to look for.
- Squinting to see clearly.
- Sitting closer to the TV or in front of the classroom
- Being unaware of objects in the distance
- Excessive blinking
- Frequent rubbing of the eyes
Your child's eye doctor can diagnose myopia during an annual eye exam. The optometrist will have your child read letters from the Snellen chart. If your child is very young, the optometrist has them read a chart with pictures. If you cannot see the letter or pictures well, the eye doctor can recommend myopia control methods.
There are a few options for controlling myopia. These include:
- Atropine eye drops: Atropine eye drops are used during annual eye exams to dilate your eyes. They can also be used to control myopia. Studies have shown that myopia in children is related to focusing fatigue. Atropine eye drops disable the focusing mechanism of the eye, which can control the progression of myopia.
- Orthokeratology: Orthokeratology, also known as Ortho-K, are special contact lenses. These lenses are worn at night, and while you sleep, the contacts gently reshape the cornea. In the morning, the contacts are removed, and your child will be able to see clearly without glasses or contacts. Studies have shown that children who use Orthokeratology for years are less myopic when they are adults than children who didn't.
- Multifocal contact lenses: Multifocal contacts contain prescriptions for closeup and distance vision. These are often prescribed for patients with presbyopia, and studies have shown that they are effective in myopia control.
Optometrist in Athens, Madison, Rogersville, Chattanooga Downtown, Collegedale, and Huntsville
If you believe you are suffering from myopia, the optometry professionals at Pathway Eye are ready to assist you. Our eye doctor will evaluate your condition and provide you with the most effective possible treatment. For more information on myopia control or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.