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How Can I Prevent Myopia From Getting Worse in My Child? 

October 15 2022
Child Wearing Glasses

Getting your child corrective eyewear when you find out he has myopia seems easy enough. However, it may come as a surprise to hear that treatments like ordinary eyeglasses and contact lenses aren’t enough to keep myopia from getting worse in your child. 

Myopia is a condition that many children develop naturally over time as they grow older but research has proven that there are things parents can do to prevent worsening myopia.

Read on as a Closter, NJ optometrist discusses myopia, what causes it, why it gets worse in children, and treatment options that can help slow myopia’s progression.

What Causes Myopia?

Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a condition in which distant objects appear blurry and close objects appear clear. It’s usually caused by the eyeball being too long or the cornea having too much curvature.

The eye is made up of several parts that work together to help you see clearly. The cornea is the clear window at the front of your eye; it bends light rays into focus so you can see things clearly. The lens is located behind the cornea; it focuses light rays to form an image on your retina, which is at the back of your eye.

When you look at something far away with your naked eye, light rays enter through your pupil and pass through both lenses before reaching your retina. But if this process doesn’t work properly—if one of these structures has more shape than it should—you’ll experience some type of vision impairment like nearsightedness or farsightedness.

Why Does Myopia Get Worse?

With most children, myopia gets worse over time. The longer the eye grows, the more it stretches the retina and cornea, and the more the image becomes blurry. Since children’s eyes are still developing and growing, they are particularly susceptible to myopia.

Excessive time spent looking at screens, including computers and cell phones can also cause myopia to worsen. Lastly, reading in low light or with poor lighting can also promote worsening myopia. 

Myopia Treatments

The good news is that there are lots of treatments available to prevent myopia from getting worse in children.

Here are just a few to consider:

  • Lenses with prisms. These lenses have special properties that can help reduce the amount of nearsightedness in your child’s eyes. 
  • Atropine eye drops. Atropine eye drops can make the pupil larger, which may reduce the amount of nearsightedness in your child’s eyes. 
  • Orthokeratology (ortho-k). This treatment involves wearing special contact lenses at night that reshape how light enters your child’s eyes so they won’t become more nearsighted over time—it basically “fixes” their vision so it doesn’t worsen anymore!

If you have more questions or wish to schedule a consultation, feel free to call our Closter, NJ optometry office today!

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