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Childhood Myopia Global Crisis!

What Is Myopia?

Myopia occurs when the eye elongates, causing light rays to focus in front of the light-sensitive retina rather than directly on it, while looking at something far away. So, people with nearsightedness perceive distant objects as blurred while close-up objects can remain clear.

Myopia tends to develop during childhood, when the eyeballs rapidly grow (along with the rest of the body), mainly between the ages of 8-18. It can worsen slowly or quickly, but it is not simply an inconvenience. People with progressive myopia are more likely to develop serious eye disease like cataracts, retinal detachment, macular degeneration and glaucoma later in life—conditions which may lead to permanent loss of vision and even blindness.

How To Know Whether Your Child Is Myopic

When it comes to the prevalence of myopia (nearsightedness), the statistics are staggering. By 2050, nearly half of the world’s population—about 5 billion people—will be myopic. Below are a few useful tips to help you prevent your child from being part of that statistic.

Below are some telltale signs to watch for

  • Blurred distance vision – Objects in the distance are blurred; kids may complain that they can’t see the board
  • Headaches – When myopia isn’t corrected, it can cause eye strain and headaches.
  • Head tilting or squinting – If your child squints or tilts his or her head while watching TV, for example, it may be a symptom of myopia.
  • Looking at objects too closely – If you notice your child moving closer to the TV or squinting as they try to see the writing on the board, it may indicate myopia.

What Parents Can Do to Slow Their Child’s Myopia Progression

  • Encourage your child to go outdoors for at least 90 minutes a day, preferably in the sunshine. Studies show that playing outdoors reduces the risk of developing myopia and slows its progression.
  • Limit the amount of time your child spends staring at a screen, reading and doing close work such as homework.
  • When your child uses a digital screen, make sure that it isn’t too close to the face.
  • Teach the 20-20-20 rule: During screen time, take a break every 20 minutes to look at an object across the room or out the window about 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds.

How We Can Help

Certain eye doctors offer treatment methods known as myopia control or myopia management. These include orthokeratology, bifocal or multifocal contact lenses, and eye drops like low dose atropine. Regular eyeglasses and contact lenses don’t prevent its progression but do correct myopia so the child can see and function normally.

If your child shows signs of myopia, schedule an eye exam with Mallard Eye Care in Spring Hill as soon as possible.

Book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT or Call 615-302-4477

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How is myopia diagnosed?

Your child’s eye doctor will perform a thorough pediatric eye exam to diagnose myopia, which often includes a visual acuity test, where the eye doctor will use an eye chart made up of letters of varied sizes. If the test results indicate myopia, then the optometrist may shine a light into their eyes and evaluate the reflection off the retina to determine the degree of refractive error for their prescription.

Can myopia lead to blindness?

High myopia may increase your child’s risk of developing more serious eye conditions later in life, such as cataracts, retinal detachment and glaucoma. Left untreated, high myopia complications can sometimes lead to blindness—which is why routine eye exams are critical.

Spring Hill Eye Clinic – Is a Blinding Eye Disease Hiding?

h2>Vision loss can occur with early signs only an eye doctor can see

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam, pediatric eye exam and contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, or dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you? Our Spring Hill eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

During the very early stages of many eye diseases, most people never notice a problem. For example, when age-related macular degeneration (AMD) first appears, blind spots can develop that people don’t see because their brain is compensating. But while the individual with AMD may not be aware of the disease, an eye doctor will detect it during a comprehensive eye exam. That’s why the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) strongly recommends people over age 40 to protect themselves from vision loss by visiting an eye clinic regularly for dilated eye exams.

How common is age-related macular degeneration?

Estimates report that more than 2 million Americans live with the most progressive forms of AMD, and this number is expected to rise to 4.4 million people by 2050. Age-related macular degeneration is the top cause of blindness among white Americans who are older than 40, and it’s one of the most common reasons for permanent vision loss in the world.

What is AMD?

This eye disease occurs when your macula, a part of the retina, is damaged. The macula is responsible for giving you a crisp, clear vision in the center of your field of view. A loss of central vision has far-reaching effects on your life, hampering your ability to read, drive, and see faces.

How often do I need to visit an eye care professional?

According to the AAO, adults with no signs or risk factors for ocular disease are advised to start with regular eye exams from age 40. Then, until age 54, guidelines recommend visiting an eye clinic every two to four years; between age 55-64, you should see your eye doctor every one to three years. By the time you are 65, annual eye exams are encouraged – even if you don’t experience any visual or eye symptoms. Of course, if you have additional risk factors for eye disease, your eye doctor may instruct you to visit more frequently.

Can vision loss from AMD be prevented?

Nowadays, eye doctors have even more technologies to diagnose age-related macular degeneration as early as possible – as long as you are vigilant about visiting your eye clinic for eye exams! Why are all these eye exams so important? Because the earlier AMD is detected and treated; the more effective treatment can be.

Possible treatments to help prevent vision loss from age-related macular degeneration include:

  • Injections of drugs to stop new blood vessels from forming and to block leaking from unhealthy blood vessels (symptoms characteristic of wet AMD)
  • Laser therapy to destroy abnormal blood vessels that are actively growing
  • Photodynamic laser therapy that causes damage to abnormal blood vessels
  • Taking vitamins as eye health supplements

Don’t let your brain fool you into thinking your vision is fine! Instead, let an eye doctor make that decision. In the year 2020, you couldn’t pick a better time to focus on your eyes. Contact an eye care center near you to book an eye exam today.

Call Mallard Eye Care today to make an appointment: 6153024477 or alternatively you can book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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