Myopia or nearsightedness is a common condition that afflicts kids and teens in the country, roughly 30% of them to be precise. Given that it’s such a common condition, is it something about which parents should be worried? The short answer is yes, mostly because of its long-term effects on your child’s eye health.
Myopia on the Rise
The Brien Holden® Vision Institute expects the number of kids and teens with myopia to reach 50% by 2050. This figure is alarming for several reasons, the foremost of which is the fact that your child’s eyes undergo a lot of changes as they grow up. As they age, their myopia progressively gets worse and could lead to a number of vision conditions.
Complications Arising From Myopia
The severity of the conditions would depend on the level of myopia, which ranges from mild to high. Mild levels of myopia can triple the risk of retinal detachment while moderate levels of myopia can increase by as much as nine times. High levels of myopia are the most worrying as it can result in serious eye conditions later in life. Listed below are the most serious ones:
- Glaucoma – This condition tends to be more common among adults, although it can still occur at any age. Left untreated, glaucoma can lead to blindness.
- Cataract – Cataracts are the clouding of the lens, resulting in impaired vision. Those who suffer from high levels of myopia are three times more likely to suffer this condition later in life.
- Vision Impairment – Overall, those suffering from high levels of myopia have a 34% higher chance of experiencing some form of vision impairment.
Why Myopia Is Often Not Detected Early Enough
Especially given the possible implications on your child’s future vision health, it’s important that myopia is detected and treated early. However, diagnosis is often difficult because of kids’ reluctance to wear eyeglasses. As a result, they’re unlikely to admit any problems with their vision until the condition has worsened, significantly delaying the diagnosis. That’s why it’s important to routinely take your child to your local optometrist for checkups.
Myopia Control and Other Treatment Options
One of the treatment options for myopia is orthokeratology (ortho-k) or corneal refractive therapy, which involves wearing specialized contact lenses overnight. The lenses slow the progression of myopia, allowing your kid to see clearly during the day without glasses or lenses.
To learn more about the treatment options, it’s best that you consult your local eye doctor. Looking for optometrists in your area?
Insight Vision Center Optometry offers a wide range of eye care services, including eye exams and ortho-k treatment. To set up an appointment with one of our highly trained doctors, call us at (714) 988-6179, or fill out this form. We serve patients in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach, CA.