Myopia or short-sightedness is increasing at an alarming rate worldwide, and has doubled in children over the course of a single generation! Why? Significantly increased time spent on digital devices is to blame. Optometrist Parramatta looks at Myopia and what you can do to help protect your child's eyes on digital devices.
What is Myopia?
Myopia is an eye condition where the eyeball grows too long, causing blurry distance vision. Children are typically diagnosed with Myopia around 10-12 years of age. Myopia is a progressive condition because the eye continues to grow throughout childhood until around the age of 20, meaning that the younger a child develops Myopia, the more their vision is likely to deteriorate as they get older. Early onset of Myopia left untreated can lead to exteme short-sightedness (high myopia) and higher eye disease risk in adulthood.
Why the rise?
Myopia is caused by genetic and environmental factors, however the significant increase in myopia currently is actually due to digital devices. Children spend too much time on digital devices and less time outdoors, and researchers believe this is seriously affecting normal eye growth in childhood. Additionally, children often have very poor posture when using mobile devices due to the size of the screen- often holding the devices low and hunching over. Small text and screen size means we also tend to hold devices too close, which further strains the eye.
Research shows that regular glasses alone do not aid in controlling the rate of myopia progression, so it's beneficial to discuss with your optometrist about effective Myopia management and prevention. If you'd like to discuss this further with us, feel free to make an appointment online or come in store to discuss Myopia with us further.
How Can You Help?
• Book your child in for a comprehensive eye examination before they start school and regularly throughout childhood so we can monitor their eye development.
• Get children to spend 1+ hrs each day outdoors in their pre-school and primary school years.
• Encourage your children to maintain good posture whilst using digital devices- devices should always be held at arms length- and avoid letting them hunch over the device which can lead to neck and back issues.
• Be aware that the likelihood of developing myopia, particularly high myopia increases when one or both parents are myopic.
How we can help?
Regular eye tests from a young age enable us to detect any early signs of myopia before it fully develops. Left unchecked, Myopia can strongly impact vision in adulthood. At Optometrist Parramatta we have a number of treatment options to slow the rate of Myopia progression, with the aim of reducing its severity and protecting children from eye complications associated with high myopia in their adult years. Regular glasses alone do not aid in controlling the rate of myopia progression, so we’ll explain the most effective interventions should myopia be diagnosed.
If you'd like to discuss Myopia or your child's eyesight with us, feel free to make an appointment online, call us on 98912020 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternative you can always come into our store at 103 George St, Parramatta - we are always here to help!