Controlling Nearsightedness in Children
Category : Nearsightedness
NNearsightednessknown as myopia is a general sight problem found in children who can see things close but distant object appear blurred to them. Children suffering from this sight problem squint to see distant objects like the board in the classroom. They sit close to the TV in order to see it vividly.
Childhood myopia becomes chronic with the passage of time. This change can affect children of all ages and parents starts questioning as to whether it will end or continue to a stage where even glasses would not work.
Childhood myopia gets stabilized up to the age of 20 but at this stage kids’ sight considerably deteriorates prompting scientists to devise ways and means reducing myopia in children. There are four possible ways of treating myopia in children such as the use of orthokeratology, atropine eye drops, multifocal eyeglasses, and multifocal contact lenses.
It is the use of peculiarly designed gas permeable contact lenses with the view to flatten cornea’s shape which reduces from mild to moderate nearsightedness. The lenses are used during sleep but during daylight. Temporary eyeglasses may help in the early stages of ortho-k. People with low to moderate myopia can see well without contact lenses or glasses in daylight after having used corneal reshaping lenses at night.
According to recent research, ortho-k may reduce eye length, meaning that wearing ortho-k lenses in childhood actually causes a constant reduction of myopia even when the use of lenses is abandoned in adulthood.
Topical atropine is used to dilate the pupil and completely relaxing the eyes’ focusing mechanism. Research suggests that myopia in children result in fatigue. Investigators are of the view that using atropine disables the eye’s mechanism to restrict myopia.
These studies have rendered impressive results. Extra research carried out in this respect reveals that as a result of eye focusing myopia discontinues after treatment at initial stages. Short-term use of atropine in the long run may fail controlling myopia significantly.
There are evidences suggesting that eyeglasses with bifocal or multifocal lenses can reduce the spread of nearsightedness in children. The mechanism shows that the magnifying power in the lenses reduces the fatigue of focusing while reading and various close work which is a problem contributing to increasing myopia.
In Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science – a five years study yielded interesting results which say that nearsighted children’s parents were also nearsighted. Children, wearing eyeglasses with multifocal lenses during student life were found to have less myopia than children who wore eyeglasses with single vision lenses.
Soft Multifocal Contact Lenses
A very recent research reveals that multifocal contact lenses are an effective treatment of myopia control than eyeglasses for multi-focusing. Ohio State University students conducted a research study recently and concluded that multifocal contact lenses reduce myopia in children by fifty percent.
One reason for reducing myopia through multifocal contact lenses is that such lenses are likely to reduce the lengthening of eyes which increases myopia with the passage of time.
Canadian-based optometrist from XO Optix mentioned that the best way to tackle vision problems in children is to focus on prevention. Ensuring proper reading lights, ample outdoor activites and regular breaks from screen time is the century old recipe for maintaining a set of healthy eyes.
Many parents find it challenging to steer their children away from screen time. For many kids, establishing a timed expectation in conjunction with reward system for exercising self-control are often effective in limiting screen time. Parents are enouraged to explore different ways of establishing ground rules surrounding the use of digital devices. The best way however, is to cultivate a love of nature in the kids.