If your child has myopia (also known as shortsightedness or nearsightedness) and always needs to get stronger lenses every year, he or she has a type of myopia called progressive myopia.
With progressive myopia, vision worsens as the child gets older. This could lead to high myopia and other eye problems (like glaucoma, macular degeneration and retinal detachment) later in life. To prevent this, it is important to take action to slow the progression of myopia.
If you do not already know, myopia is a condition in which an individual sees near objects clearly but experiences blurry vision while looking at far objects. It is worsened by activities that encourage excessive focus on near objects (e.g. spending long hours reading, writing or working/playing on the computer and other digital devices).
To slow down myopia in children,
- Limit the amount of time they spend on digital devices.
- Let them play outside. This exposes their eyes to natural light and help them engage in activities that stimulate their distance vision.
- Encourage them to take breaks in between reading/writing or other close work. (This is rarely necessary expect for older children/ teenagers who may be preparing for serious exams).
- Get their eyes examined once in a year or two or as recommended by your eye doctor to ensure that they have the right prescription as using the wrong prescription can put strain their eyes further.
If your child does not have myopia, applying the above recommendations will help reduce the risk of myopia even if it runs in your family. So do not wait to do something. Help your child maintain good vision.