Can Myopia Be Prevented?
Parents who are nearsighted often wonder what can be done to prevent their children from developing the same or similar conditions.
While scientists haven’t yet found a way to guarantee that your child won’t develop myopia (often referred to as nearsightedness), there are things you can do to delay its onset and even prevent its progression.
What is Myopia?
Myopia is a progressive eye disease that causes the eye to grow longer than normal, altering its ability to correctly focus light onto the retina. This results in blurred distance vision that can make it difficult for children to learn efficiently in the classroom or take part in extracurricular activities.
Myopia is often corrected with prescription glasses or contact lenses, but these methods simply correct the child’s vision while allowing the condition to worsen.
Why is it Important to Delay or Slow Myopia Progression?
The worse your child’s myopia gets, the higher their chance of developing sight-threatening diseases like glaucoma, macular degeneration, and retinal detachment later in life. That’s why it’s important to try and keep your child’s lens prescription low and controlled using the methods listed below. If your child doesn’t yet have myopia, following the same protocol will help prevent myopia onset for as long as possible.
Is it Possible To Prevent Myopia or Myopia Progression?
While many children inherit myopia from their parents, there are also several environmental factors that can lead to the onset and progression of nearsightedness. By making some lifestyle changes, it may be possible to delay the onset of myopia and prevent its progression.
Boost Daily Outdoor Time
Research shows that children of myopic parents who spend a lot of time outdoors have lower rates of myopia than children who stay mostly indoors. A recent study published in Review of Optometry (2021) concluded that children should spend at least 2-3 hours per day engaged in outdoor activities to delay the onset of myopia, especially if a child has one myopic parent.
Another study published in Ophthalmic Research (2020) confirms the protective effect of “sun time” against myopia onset. When observing the myopia rates of 6-12 year olds, there were fewer new myopia cases in the group of children who spent between 11-15 hours outdoors per week, compared with children who didn’t. The researchers also found that the myopia progression rate was slower in the group of children who spent more time in the daylight.
If you do add some extra outdoor time to your child’s daily routine, be sure to provide them with UV blocking sunglasses, sunscreen, a water bottle and other sun-safe gear.
Limit Screen Time
Screen time is thought to have a greater impact on a child’s vision than other near work like reading a book, for a few reasons.
Children are exposed to digital screens at a younger age than other forms of near work, and they tend to use screens for longer intervals of time. Additionally, the working distance between a child’s eyes and a digital screen tends to be shorter than the distance between their eyes and a book or other object, to compensate for the small print size and images.
An article published in Review of Myopia Management (2021) examines the results of several scientific studies that analyze the relationship between screen time and myopia. Two of these studies found that the risk of developing myopia was 8 times greater for children aged 5-15 who used a smartphone or video game for more than 2 hours a day, compared to children who have 0-2 hours of daily screen time.
And while we don’t expect parents to ban all digital devices from their homes, it is advisable to set daily limits on digital device usage. Try to cap your child’s daily screen time at 2 hours. Children under the age of 2 should have as little screen time as possible.
Encourage Frequent Breaks From Near Work
Any sort of near work, like reading and writing, puts a strain on your child’s eyes and can contribute to myopia onset and progression. One way to prevent myopia development in your child is to teach them to take breaks from visually demanding activities.
A 2008 study published in the journal of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science found that the intensity of near work plays an important role in myopia development in schoolchildren. According to the study, the duration of uninterrupted near work seems to be more significant than the overall time spent engaged in close-distance activities.
Regular Myopia Eye Exams
Whether or not your young child or teen has myopia, yearly eye exams with your optometrist are crucial to keeping their vision healthy and clear. It’s important to note that vision screenings in school are not enough to detect most visual problems, and certainly not for preventing myopia.
Tracking your child’s eyesight yearly will help determine the best treatment for preventing myopia onset and slowing or halting its progression.
Treehouse Eyes Can Help Prevent Myopia Progression
The good news is we help prevent or slow down myopia progression in kids—just like yours—so they can have their best shot at academic and social success!
The Treehouse Eyes eye doctors use state-of-the-art equipment to develop a personalized treatment plan for your child. Our non-invasive treatments include customized contact lenses and special prescription eye drops. Moreover, data shows that our patent-pending Treehouse Vision System® treatment plan can decrease myopia progression by 78%.
Prevent serious, sight-robbing eye diseases by scheduling your child’s myopia consultation today. Contact your local Treehouse Eyes provider today and see your child’s quality of life improve before your eyes!
Check out real stories from satisfied parents and children sharing their experiences with our professional doctors, staff, and myopia treatment protocols at Treehouse Eyes.
Having good eyesight helps us out in a multitude of ways. It keeps us safe as we go about our daily life, and it ensures that we can fully participate in all activities that we engage in. As one of our five senses, it’s important to maintain a healthy sense of sight, and good vision is key to your child enjoying a happy, healthy, and meaningful childhood. At Treehouse Eyes, we specialize in non-invasive myopia care and are dedicated to working through treatment programs with you and your child that suit your child’s lifestyle needs. Are you searching for an effective treatment method for your child’s myopia? Read on to find out more about our non-invasive myopia care in Ohio.
Overnight Contact Lenses in Ohio
With overnight contact lenses, all your child has to do is pop them in at night and remove them the next day when they get up. They can then enjoy clear vision throughout the day without needing to use contact lenses. Overnight contact lenses are recommended for active children who do not have the inclination, time, or patience to maintain daytime contact lenses. If you do not think that your child is up to using daytime contact lenses just yet, you can opt for overnight contact lenses first to get them used to contact lenses.
Daytime Soft Contact Lenses in Missouri
For older children who have demonstrated a strong sense of responsibility, daytime soft contact lenses are typically the best choice. If your child has shown that they are able to maintain high levels of hygiene throughout the day and are able to take care of themselves and their possessions, you can start with daytime soft contact lenses.
Choose Treehouse Eyes for Myopia Care for Kids
Let our specialists at Treehouse Eyes help your child to achieve better vision with our non-invasive treatment methods such as personalized contact lenses and prescription eye drops. Our specialists will provide comprehensive assessments and identify the best treatment plan for your child when it comes to their eye care routine. Thanks to our treatment methods that are non-invasive, you can rest assured that the journey for your child to gain improved eyesight will be effective, comfortable, and time-efficient! If you are thinking of getting prescription eye drop, read about our prescription eye drop disclaimer here.
Looking for more information about our myopia care and treatments for kids in Ohio? To find your nearest Treehouse provider or schedule a consultation, simply click here.