The AMA advises that an infant’s eyes be examined at six months of age. The eye health and eye alignment can be evaluated even at this young age. After the initial visit the child should be re-evaluated at least before starting school.
According to experts, 80% of learning is visual, which means that if your child is having difficulty seeing clearly, his or her learning can be affected. This also goes for infants who develop and learn about the world around them through their sense of sight. To ensure that your children have the visual resources they need to grow and develop normally, their eyes and vision should be checked by an eye doctor and re-evaluated yearly during their development.
If a child develops myopia (the inability to see distant objects clearly) the child could develop sight threatening high myopia over the years. If your child is myopic see the Myopia Management page on this website under the Our Services drop down for treatment options and then schedule an appointment with our office. We would be happy to work with your child to help maintain a life time of good vision.
What Is Myopia Management:
Myopia (an inability to see distant objects clearly) has become a serious international vision problem. Myopia increases as an eyeball elongates. High amounts of myopia typically indicate a much larger than normal eyeball. High myopia greatly increases the risk of retinal detachment, glaucoma and cataract. Slowing the progression of sight threatening axial elongation in children is crucial to reducing the risk of these sight threatening consequences of high myopia.
There are several techniques for reducing the progression of myopia:
- Atropine Eye Drops: Eye drops used daily to slow myopia.
- Bifocals or Progressive Addition Lenses: Glasses with optics to slow myopia.
- Multifocal Soft Contact Lenses: Contact lenses with optics to slow myopia.
Ways to slow myopia progression:
- For every 60 minutes of near work, take a 10 minute break doing distance tasks or playing outside.
- 90 minutes of outside time every day can slow the onset and progression of myopia.
- Do not work with the screen too close, keep the monitor at least an arm’s length away.
- For young children going to bed earlier than 8:30PM slows progression by 44% compared to a later than 10 PM bedtime.
- Discourage reading in bed because this causes extra stress on the visual system and encourages myopic progression.
When should children begin myopia management?
- Age: Younger age of onset can lead to higher levels of myopia. Myopia management should start early if a young child is already even mildly near-sighted.
- Refractive Error: Myopia especially in young children is a concern and should be monitored for change over time.
- Myopic Parents: The risk of high myopia is greater for children with myopic parents.
See the research paper on Atropine eye drops below.