Pediatric Myopia (Nearsightedness) – Important Facts for Parents to Know

Myopia (nearsightedness) is actually the most common type of refractive problem among children. According to the Boston Children’s Hospital, myopia may actually affect as many as one in five children. Essentially, if your child has myopia, it means that your child can see things better when they are close to their eyes and may have problems seeing things from a distance. Here are a few things you may want to know if your child has been diagnosed with myopia by a Coldwater eye doctor.

How is myopia treated in children?

Refractive errors like myopia generally call for either prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses to alter how the eye uses light to focus, which can enhance visual quality. Therefore, glasses tend to be the most common treatment for myopia in younger children and contacts may become an option as the child gets older.

Can myopia get worse as the child gets older?

Myopia is a refractive error that is rarely ever present early in a child’s life. Usually, the problem begins to develop as the child grows, and is most often diagnosed around 9 or 10 years old. Myopia can get worse over the years, but it is more common for the condition to somewhat ‘level off’ or stop progressing at a certain point. If myopia seems to continue to progress beyond adolescence, your child may have what is referred to as progressive myopia, which can be a serious optometric condition that should be closely monitored with the help of an eye doctor.

Can pediatric myopia be completely cured?

Pediatric myopia is most often a lifelong condition. The condition is considered genetic in nature, so myopia may have more to do with how the eye grows than anything else. Children with myopia may eventually be candidates for laser eye surgery to correct the refractive error.

Work with a Coldwater, MS Eye Doctor for Pediatric Eye Conditions

As a parent, being attentive to vision issues that can affect your child is ever-important. If you suspect that your child has myopia or if your child is due for a vision checkup, reach out to us at Coldwater Vision Center in Coldwater, MS to schedule an appointment.

Can Children Wear Contact Lenses?

At Coldwater Vision Center in Coldwater, MS, we treat patients of all ages, including children. We offer eye exams for children and we carry a wide variety of eyeglasses that your child will be proud to wear. However, one of the questions that we get asked is if children can wear contact lenses.

Some Contact Lenses Are Therapeutic

There has been an exciting new development in contact lenses. There are now lenses that are actually recommended for some children in order to prevent myopia or nearsightedness. These are Ortho-K lenses. Since myopia is partially caused by misshapen eyes, Ortho-K contact lenses can help to prevent this “mis-growth” from occurring. Talk to your vision care professional to see if this is an option for your child.

The Child Must be Mature Enough

Contact lenses require a certain amount of maturity to wear and take care of them. If your child doesn’t properly care for their lenses, eye infection and damage can occur. For instance, most lenses must be cleaned and disinfected daily. As a parent, you have to ask yourself if your child is likely to do this. If you still need to nag your child about washing their face and brushing their teeth nightly, it’s unlikely they’ll have what it takes to ensure their contact lenses are properly disinfected before putting them in each day.

Furthermore, is your child likely to lose their lenses? Contacts have to be placed in their case when not worn, not inside a clump of tissue inside a backpack. Of course, you can always opt for daily wear lenses, which can be thrown away after each use. This is a decision that needs to be discussed with you, your child and your Coldwater Vision Center eyecare professional.

The short answer is that yes, children can and do wear contact lenses. However, depending on the circumstances, it may be easier to have your younger child wear eyeglasses until they exhibit a level of maturity that shows they’re ready for contact lenses.

For more information about corrective eyewear for your children, please contact Coldwater Vision Center in Coldwater, MS today. We’re here to help with all of your family’s vision needs.