The truth is scientists and doctors are still learning about myopia and the main causes of the disease. What’s known is several factors lead a child to develop myopia, including genetic, environmental, and even socioeconomic status.
Genetics do play a role in whether or not a child will develop myopia. If a child has one parent nearsighted or myopic, their chances increase. If both parents are myopic, those chances increase even greater. Be sure to get your child’s vision checked if you or your spouse are myopic.
Screentime and ‘Near work’
More than ever before, kids all over the world are focusing their eyes on near objects for the majority of their day, whether using a smartphone, computer, tablet, or another device. Schoolwork and book reading count as well.
Studies continue to show that doing near work, especially in excess (more than 3 hours per day), contributes to the onset and progression of myopia.
Spending at least 2-3 hours outdoors has been shown to delay or prevent the onset of myopia. 2-3 hours may not be possible (especially in cold or hot months), but making a habit to go outside on a walk or play for a few minutes every day can help.
Your Child’s Height
The taller children and adolescents have a higher incidence of myopia than their shorter counterparts. This is likely due to grown spurts - as your child grows, so do their eyes.
There is a higher incidence of myopia in people with advanced degrees, as well as higher parental education levels. One theory is excessive near work and lack of time outdoors contribute to this.
If Your Child Has Myopia, We Can Help!
What many don’t realize is that myopia can seriously affect a child's future eye health and vision. Having myopia in childhood significantly increases the risk of developing serious eye diseases and conditions like glaucoma, retinal detachment, cataracts, and macular degeneration in adulthood. The good news is that myopia can be effectively managed to reduce the risk of future eye disease.
Schedule Regular Screenings
To help prevent or manage myopia, it is essential to have regular eye screenings for your child. Doctors recommend yearly vision screenings either by your child’s pediatrician or their school as well as a vision screen at well-child visits through age 4. Newborn babies should also have their vision tested before they leave the hospital and before your child hits the age of 5.
You can prevent serious, sight-robbing eye diseases by scheduling your child’s myopia consultation with us today. Visit Eyes of New Mexico Family Optometry and Contact Lenses online scheduler or call at 505-806-1432 to schedule an appointment. Help your child’s quality of life improve before your eyes!