Nearsightedness, or myopia, occurs when distant objects such as road signs or the whiteboard in school appear blurry but closer objects such as the computer or a book is clear. In true myopia the eyeball has grown too long relative to the focusing power of the cornea (the clear front part of the eye) and lens of the eye.
Myopia typically starts at school age (about 7-8 years old) and progresses most rapidly in the first year or two after onset until the early 20s. A child with low myopia – just having a little trouble seeing the board in class – in the third grade, if left untreated, will most likely have trouble seeing the big “E” on the eye chart without glasses by high school. Myopia is also an eye health concern since it poses an increased risk of eye diseases such as cataracts and blindness from retinal detachments.
Fortunately, several treatment options – including eyedrops, specially designed soft contact lenses, and orthokeratology – have been shown to effectively slow or stop the progression of myopia, especially if implemented early. The first step in an effective treatment plan involves assessing the risk of developing myopia, or if your child already wears glasses, selecting the appropriate intervention protocol to stop their vision worsening.
The life-time concerns of myopia and its progression are all visually, psychologically, and financially significant. An early intervention is key and there is little advantage in waiting. Schedule your FREE consultation with Dr Durrant today as the first step in discovering the right treatment choice for your child.