3 Steps You Can Take to Slow Myopia Progression
Have you noticed that your child is struggling to see things that are in the distance? While these vision issues may begin as small complaints, they aren’t something that should be taken lightly. Your child may be suffering from a condition known as myopia, also known as nearsightedness. In fact, it’s estimated that nearly 14 million children throughout the United States struggle with myopia.
Myopia can develop for a multitude of reasons including, but not limited to, spending too much time on electronic devices, near work or due to genetic factors. It’s typically a condition that begins in childhood and occurs when the eyeball grows too long which results in blurry vision when trying to see things that are further away. Since your child’s eyes grow the fastest between the ages of 6 and 12, it’s critical that you address this condition during a time where you can take certain steps to slow the progression of myopia to avoid adverse impacts on your child’s eye health in the future.
The Long-Term Impact of Myopia
It’s important to never overlook the severe long-term impact that myopia can have on your child. If myopia goes unchecked, it’s possible that your child could develop the following conditions:
- Macular degeneration
- Retinal detachment
According to the World Health Organization Global Burden of Disease program, myopia is categorized as being the second largest cause of blindness. However, when steps are taken during childhood to correct and prevent myopia progression, there is a substantial drop in the risk of your child losing their sight later in life.
What You Can Do to Slow the Progression of Myopia
Although myopia is a progressive condition, there are several steps that you can take to make the condition easier to manage. Here are some examples:
- Take breaks from near work
Is your child glued to their computer, book, phone or tablet? If so, then your child is at a higher risk of myopia onset and progression. Closely monitoring how much time your child spends doing near work is key when it comes to controlling myopia progression. Although there isn’t a specific recommendation on the number of hours that your child should spend on an electronic device or reading up close, encouraging your child to take frequent breaks is critical.
- Encourage your child to spend more time outdoors
Spending more time outside is not only an excellent way for your child to wear off excess energy but it can also improve their eye health. Sunlight can promote healthy eye development which can decrease the progression of myopia.
- Utilize the 20-20-20 rule
While it may be impossible for your child to avoid near work or electronic devices completely, encouraging them to use the 20-20-20 rule can help with both eye strain and myopia progression. The 20-20-20 rule is easy to follow and it’s something that both children and adults should practice. This rule entails putting down the near object for at least 20 seconds while looking at something that is at least 20 feet away every 20 minutes. While the 20-20-20 rule is something that you may have to remind your child about on a frequent basis, doing so will give your child’s eyes the much-needed relief that they need.
Book Your Appointment with Our Eye Doctors Today
Treating myopia as soon as possible can provide your child with a better quality of life. Instead of worrying about their vision during school or sports, they can focus on enjoying the events that they love. The eye doctors at the Weston Contact Lens Institute can help you put together a comprehensive plan for myopia management that you can begin to implement right away. Get in touch with us today to book your appointment.