Living Life Out of Focus
WHAT IS MYOPIA?
Myopia is one of the most prevalent vision issues, especially in children. Better known as nearsightedness, myopia is a condition of the eye where close up objects appear clear, but at a distance everything becomes blurry and out of focus. Over time, myopia can put the eyes at risk for serious vision-threatening conditions and is a real and growing problem. About 42 percent of Americans ages 12-54 are nearsighted, up from 25 percent just 40 years ago.*
Put life back in focus
Every day, countless kids struggle while living a life out of focus. Spotting the symptoms of myopia and being proactive can help put life back in focus.
Myopia Symptoms in Kids
Many kids believe blurry vision is just normal. They’ve never known anything different. But if you can spot the signs of myopia, you can help. Nearsightedness can be managed, and if caught early enough, some solutions may potentially help slow the progression. Keep an eye out for the below myopia symptoms.
- Squinting to see distant objects, like the board in the classroom
- Sitting too close to the TV
- Holding books close when reading
- Experiencing eye strain or headaches
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What can you do?
The most important thing you can do is take a proactive role in your child’s eyecare, ensuring vision issues like myopia, or nearsightedness, are diagnosed and managed early on. A school vision screening or a brief examination by a pediatrician is not enough, as vision problems in children may be missed.
Myopia tends to progress during childhood, as the eyes continue to grow and develop. There is also research that suggests too much screen time on digital devices like smartphones and tablets may potentially put kids at risk of developing myopia, and increased time spent outdoors may help slow its progression. With this in mind, parents should urge kids to put down their devices and spend more time outside.
It’s important to schedule an appointment with an eyecare professional for a comprehensive eye exam and to check your kid’s eyes on a regular basis. By doing this you’ll be able to help your kids see well today and also learn about solutions that could potentially slow down their myopia progression.
Adults living with myopia
If you are nearsighted, maintaining regular and comprehensive eye exams and proactively managing your myopia is essential to your eye health. Conditions like retinal detachment, glaucoma and macular degeneration are more prevalent in myopic adults, making proper management essential.
There are eyeglass solutions available to help you see more clearly and comfortably. If you are a high myope, your lenses will have greater edge thickness, so it’s important to talk to your eyecare professional about the right material, frame size and shape to reduce the thickness of the lenses as much as possible. When considering lens material, you might want to ask for hi-index lenses, a thinner, lighter and more discreet option with greater comfort.
It’s important to be proactive and to understand the possible long-term risks and the serious eye conditions that might be associated with high myopia. Schedule an appointment with an eyecare professional for a comprehensive eye exam to learn more.
* Vitale S, Sperduto RD. (2009, Dec). Increased prevalence of myopia in the United States between 1971-1972 and 1999-2004. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20008719