Myopia In Child

Myopia in child, as compared to myopia in adult, has a better chance of improvement through eye care. This is because the child's eyes are still growing and has better self-healing ability.


What is Myopia?

Complication of Myopia in Child

Cause of Myopia

Who are more likely to develop myopia?

Can myopia be cured?

Regular vision breaks

Does myopia affect grown-ups?

Does the colour green have a soothing effect on the eyes?

Can watching television for long periods cause myopia?

Can myopia be prevented by participating in more outdoor activities?


What is Myopia?

Myopia is commonly known as "short-sightedness". A person with myopia is able to see close objects clearly but objects that are further away will appear blurred.


eye myopia

When the normal eye looks at an object, light rays from the object enter our eye. These light rays are bent at the cornea and the eye lens before forming an image on the inner layer of the eye called the retina. This image is then transmitted by nerve signals to the brain. The brain interprets these signals so that we see the object.

If the light rays are focused directly on the retina, we see a sharp image. Therefore, myopia in child occurs when the light rays from distant objects are focused in front of the retina instead of on it, resulting in blurred images on the retina. This is usually because the eyeball is too long or sometimes the cornea and lens do not bend the light rays properly.

Complication of Myopia in Child

Undetected myopia in child, especially those before the age of 6 years old, can lead to amblyopia (lazy eye) and eventually blindness in the affected eye.

Severe myopia can lead to potentially blinding conditions such as retinal detachment (a condition when the retina separates from the eyeball), macular degeneration (a condition when the most sensitive part of the retina degenerates and the central part of the vision is affected), glaucoma (a condition where there is too much fluid pressure in the eyeball), cataract (a condition where the eye lens become opaque)

The more severe the degree of myopia, the higher the risks of developing these complications.

Cause of Myopia

The causal factors in the development of myopia are not clearly known. However, there is a high correlation between myopia and doing lots of close work (e.g. reading).

If the eye muscles do not relax completely for far focus, the eye is held in this contracted state, and the erson is over-focusing for distance.

Studies have been done which have shown that merely being able to relax the ciliary muscle can improve short-sightedness significantly. Eye exercises device has been used in some countries (e.g. China and Singapore) to reverse the myopia, especially myopia in children.

Who are more likely to develop myopia?

Some believe that a child is more likely to develop myopia if he/she has one or both parents who suffer from myopia themselves. Well, by this logic, intelligent, thrifty and wise parent would always produce children who were intelligent, thrifty and wise. It was in the gene. Conversely, children of a thief would have the same characters as their parent. Well, the fact is that it does not work this way.

Studies show that people who constantly involve in near work such as reading, writing and computer work, for long duration without a break, are more prone to visual problems.

Can myopia be cured?

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Eye Glasses or contact lenses are used by people who have myopia to help them see distant objects clearly. However, This approach does not address the the real causes of visual problems.

Eye glasses and contact lenses do not actually correct the images that your eyes see. In stead, they create distortions in proportion. Cancave lenses (used for short-sightedness) reduce the size of the images you see, and convex lenses (used for far-sightedness) magnify the images.

Surgical methods (lasik surgery) to correct myopia are not advisable for children as their eyeballs are still growing and the myopia has not stabilised yet.

Regular vision breaks

After 30 to 40 minutes of continuous near work, one should take a vision break of 3 to 5 minutes by looking at distant objects or out of a window. In an enclosed room, one can look across the room. Palming is one of the highly recommended eye relaxation methods.

Does myopia affect grown-ups?

Myopia can affect any individual at any age. However, the severity is closely related to the age of onset. That is, if an individual who has myopia at a young age, there is a greater likelihood that the myopia will be more severe as he grows older.

Does the colour green have a soothing effect on the eyes?

There is no evidence that the colour green produces a soothing effect on the eyes or helps prevent myopia.

However, to relax the eyes and to reduce the chances of myopia in child, one should take vision breaks of 3 to 5 minutes after every 30 to 40 minutes of near work and also to look at some distant objects to relax the eyes. Perform Palming during these breaks is highly recommended.

Can watching television for long periods cause myopia?

It has not been proven yet that television watching has an effect on myopia in child. However, it is important to advise your child to watch television from a distance of at least two to three metres.

Can myopia be prevented by participating in more outdoor activities?

It is not proven whether outdoor activities can prevent myopia or delay myopia progression. There is a trend of increasing prevalence of myopia in child. Researchers have noted that children spend less time on outdoor activities. Children are encouraged to participate in outdoor activities like sports as these activities usually do not involve near work.


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