Myopia or short-sightedness results in reduced clarity in distance vision. Myopia is usually due to the eye being slightly too long, resulting in the light focusing in front of the retina at the back of the eye.
You may notice your child moving closer to objects or “squinting” the eyelids to see clearly.
Having one or both parents with myopia increases the risk, but it can be affected by prolonged near-vision activities and spending limited time outdoors.
It is usually easy to correct with spectacles and contact lenses. Some adults with myopia have laser surgery to correct it.
There are some treatments that can slow down myopia development during childhood.
These are myopia management spectacles lenses, myopia management contact lenses and orthokeratology lenses (rigid contact lenses worn overnight).
It is important to limit the time spent looking at screens and incorporate breaks during use where you regularly look to the distance and blink.
It is very important to spend regular periods outside in natural light as this prevents/delays myopia development.
Your child may not respond to myopia management treatment as expected. They may need to change to a different treatment or to try a combination of treatments if the first choice does not slow down myopia development.
Regular eye tests are recommended as children’s eyes are growing and changing up to the late teens.