Myopia, also called nearsightedness, happens when an individual's eyeball is much longer than usual from front to back or where the cornea curves too sharply. These changes affect how the eyes receive light. Instead of light focusing on the retina, it falls before reaching it, making objects in the distance look blurry.
Children are more likely to become nearsighted if their parents have myopia. But nearsightedness is on the rise in general, especially in children between the ages of six to 14. Doctors are not sure why, but they believe it is due to lifestyle habits.
Most of the tasks kids do these days are within arm's reach. They spend more time doing close-up activities like playing video games or using computers. Consequently, children do not get to exercise their distance vision.
Your child may have myopia if they are:
Your child may be nearsighted if they always hold objects close to their eyes. If a nearsighted child is trying to watch television, they will move closer to it to see clearer. They may also bring books close to their face when trying to read. If you have observed these behaviors in your child, they may have trouble with their distance vision.
Does your child close one eye when reading? If your answer is yes, your child could have issues with their eyesight. Covering one eye is a way to tackle blurry vision. That often happens when your eyes have a vision inconsistency.
Vision inconsistency happens when one eye is stronger than the other. Covering the weaker eye provides clear vision. Take your child for an eye exam if you see them doing that.
If you are struggling to see something, you may end up squinting. That is a natural response to attempting to see better, and it works for a short while. Nearsightedness could be causing your child to squint when doing tasks like reading, playing video games, or watching TV.
Squinting alters the eye-muscle tightness to provide temporary clarity. People with myopia usually discover that squinting lets them see better for some time.
Eye rubbing is usually a sign of eye discomfort. If your child rubs their eyes after watching TV or spending time on a computer, it may be due to digital eyestrain. Sometimes, excessively teary eyes may accompany eye discomfort. Limit your child's screen time to minimize distress.
But if the rubbing or eye-tearing does not stop, schedule a visit with your child's eye doctor. An early diagnosis can help start myopia control treatments to prevent myopia from worsening.
Recurrent headaches are often signs of eye problems. The headaches can be due to eyestrain when squinting or using digital devices or other causes. If your child constantly complains of headaches, note it. Write down when and how frequently the headaches occur. You must take your child to an eye doctor if the headaches happen a few times a week.
To know whether your child has myopia, visit TMS Eyecare at our Wichita or Arkansas City, Kansas offices. Call (316) 669-4760, (316) 686-7212 or (620) 442-2577 to schedule an appointment today.