Understanding Myopia (Near-sightedness)

Myopia occurs in which Age group?

Usually, adolescents and children below the age of 21 years have a high incidence of myopia as their bodies are in the growth and development stage, and their near vision work (schools and tutions, mobile-tablet-laptop use) is heavy, and they do not pay attention to eye hygiene.

Causes of Myopia

  • Use eyes at close range for a long time:

    Prolonged use of eyes at close range is the prime reason for the occurrence and development of myopia in adolescents and children. Therefore, it is recommended that children use their eyes for 45 minutes and rest for about 5 minutes. Parents should supervise their children more and help them develop good eye habits.

  • Insufficient time for outdoor activities:

    School homework is heavy, extracurricular tuition classes are diverse, and the temptation of various digital devices causes children to have less time for outdoor activities. According to research, outdoor activities for more than 2 hours a day have a clear prevention and control effect on the occurrence of myopia. Therefore, parents should encourage their children to play outdoors to better protect their eyesight.

  • Genetic factors:

    There is a genetic risk of high myopia, and children whose parents or both parents have high myopia are more likely to be nearsighted when they grow up. Therefore, if the parents have high myopia, the child's risk of developing myopia will undoubtedly increase a lot.

Misunderstandings about Myopia

If the child's vision is less than 6/6, it must be myopia

Well, it does depend on your age. Because the normal value standard of children's vision is different from that of adults, under normal circumstances, the vision development can be close to completion when they are about 6 years old, and most of them can reach 6/6.

Will my child suddenly become Myopic ?

Nearsightedness does not happen overnight.

Every child is hyperopic when he or she is just born. With age and physical development, the eye axis gradually increases, and the child's vision changes from hyperopia to emmetropia. However, if the child's hyperopia reserve is consumed too much and the eye axis grows too fast, the child may become myopia.

We suggest that children should go for a comprehensive eye examination every year from the age of 3 to establish a refractive development file to see if the diopter, eye axis length, corneal curvature and other data are normal, and give the child refraction Developmental assessment, discover the child’s vision development trend, and intervene early to scientifically prevent and control myopia.

We should also check whether the child has myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, strabismus or other eye diseases. 0-6 years is a critical period for children's vision development. If eye abnormalities can be found early, it is more conducive to treatment.

Is there any miraculous treatment for Myopia?

At present, it is impossible to restore vision through methods such as medicine, injection or massage. As most of myopia patients are axial myopia, the eye axis lengthened, it can't be shortened any longer, just like a person who grows taller, can't make him shorter.

Recently, Eye drops are available which helps to slow down progression of Myopia.

They are ATROPINE 0.01% eyedrops. Please consult your eye doctor and discuss regarding this option. You can read more about uses of ATROPINE 0.01% in Myopia from here in English or from here in Gujarati

Myopic Patients do not get Presbyopic.

This is wrong. Whether you are myopic or not, you are going to get presbyopia as you age more than 40 years. Mild myopia can delay the time of wearing reading glasses or you can see near thing clearly without your distant vision glasses.

Lower power glasses prevent progression of Myopia.

Again, this is not the case. You should use minimum required correction for myopia but using less than required power will make your eyes strain and pain.

Pseudo-Myopia or Fake-Myopia

Sometimes, because of continuous tension in the eye, the eye ciliary muscles continue to contract and spasm, the thickness of the lens increases, and symptoms similar to true myopia appear. But in such cases, it may not be TRUE MYOPIA.

In such cases, professional eye examination with eyedrops (Cycloplegic refraction) should be done and as these drops relaxes eye muscles, your Pseudo-Myopia will revert back to normal.

These all details in just for basic information about the diseases. Please consult your doctor before following this by yourself. --- Dr Dhaval Patel (MD, AIIMS Delhi)

- compiled & published by Dr Dhaval Patel MD AIIMS

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