Nearsightedness afflicts more than 40% of American adults, according to the American Optometric Association. What’s worse, the AOA states that this number has increased in the past 40 years by 25%, with children being diagnosed at ages as young as only 3 years old.
Unfortunately, most parents don’t fully understand nearsightedness or the options that are available to help slow the progression of Myopia in their young children. So What Is Myopia, and what can you do to protect your children from the harmful side effects of Myopia?
The first step to preventing long-term damage is knowing the early signs of Myopia so that you can get treatment for you or your child.
Holding Objects Close to Their Face
One of the easiest ways to tell if your child is having difficulty seeing objects at a distance is if they routinely hold objects close to their face to see them. Sitting too close to the television is another clue that they may be having difficulty with their distance vision.
Complaining of Headaches
A common symptom of vision problems is consistent headaches. If your child is complaining of frequent headaches, track how often they are experiencing these symptoms. Some headaches may be due to allergies or barometric pressure changes, but if they are experiencing more than one headache a week, schedule an appointment to get their vision checked.
When our eyes are struggling to focus, we can sometimes temporarily “correct” this by squinting. This expression causes a minute change in the tension on your eye muscles and can give brief clarity for patients suffering from mild Myopia.
Closing One Eye to Read
If you notice that your child closes or covers one eye to read, then they may be experiencing difficulty with their vision. This is another tactic that we naturally use to try and overcome symptoms of blurred vision. If there is a discrepancy between the vision of our two eyes, closing one eye may help to overcome this and offer some clarity.
If your child is too young to recognize a headache or most of the other symptoms, rubbing their eyes may be a sign of discomfort. Rubbing of the eyes may also be related to digital eye strain, so try limiting screen time to see if this improves their discomfort. If you still notice your child rubbing their eyes, then make an appointment to have their vision assessed.
Excess Watering of the Eyes
Because nearsightedness causes discomfort in the eyes, you may notice that your child has watery eyes. This is another symptom that can be confused with irritation from allergies, but if it is consistent and excessive it may be a sign of Myopia.
If your child is exhibiting any of these symptoms, have their vision checked. Myopia does not go away on its own and can worsen if left untreated. At Jarvis Vision Center, we offer treatment options for nearsightedness that can help relieve many of the symptoms and even slow the progression of this disease.
To learn more about our Myopia control options, contact us today, or read some of our previous blogs: