Updated: Aug 19, 2021
Myopia, also known as short-sightedness or nearsightedness, is a rapidly expanding problem in school-age children. A recent study conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology predicts that myopia will affect vision for nearly half of the global population by 2050.
Beginning in early childhood, myopia occurs when the eyeball grows too long, causing blurry distance vision. The factors influencing this condition are genetics and lifestyle. Myopia also tends to worsen as children grow older and their eyes continue to grow. This significantly affects their everyday life and can lead to future eye health problems.
Fortunately, a number of recent studies suggest there is a possibility of controlling myopia by slowing its progression during childhood and among teens. Below are a few strategies that eye care practitioners and researchers are suggesting.
Limit Screen Time
The same research conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, also states that data from 145 studies, covering 2.1 million participants, revealed that increases in myopia are driven by lifestyle. Today’s youth spend a lot of time on electronic devices, such as iPads and iPhones. Limiting screen time and balancing a healthy dose of activities away from devices is advised if you want to slow down the progression of myopia.
Increase Outdoor Play Time
Many researchers suggest that myopia progression is caused by light levels, which may be directly related to how little time kids spend outdoors. Between school, extracurricular activities, screen time, and more, how much time do your kids spend outside?
According to the Vision Council, nearly 1 in 4 kids spend more than three hours per day using digital devices. The best thing parents can do is send them outside for playtime! Increased outdoor activity has been shown to slow the onset of myopia by 11-34%. One possible reason for this is because components of sunlight activate vitamin D, which plays a large role in eye growth. Also, kids are usually engaged in more distance-vision activities when they’re outside, which places fewer strenuous near-vision demands on their growing eyes.
Find a Trusted Professional to Manage Myopia
There isn’t an outright cure for nearsightedness. However, professionals at Two Trees Optometry can now offer a number of treatments that can help slow the progression of myopia.
Nearsightedness may be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery, such as LASIK and PRK. Depending on the degree of your myopia, you may need to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses all the time, or only when you need sharper distance vision, like when driving, viewing a chalkboard, or watching a movie.
We also provide orthokeratology, a non-surgical procedure where you wear special rigid gas permeable (GP) contact lenses that slowly reshape the cornea while you sleep. When the lenses are removed, the cornea temporarily retains the new shape, so you can see clearly during the day without wearing glasses or contact lenses.
A Myopia Eye Doctor Near You
Nearsighted people often have frequent headaches and eyestrain – meaning you’ll see them squinting or possibly feeling fatigued when driving or playing sports. If you or your child experience these symptoms, visit one of our trusted eye doctors. If you experience these symptoms while wearing glasses or contact lenses, you may need a stronger prescription. Schedule you’re appointment online today for an evaluation.