What is short-sightedness and how does it affect children?

Short-sightedness affects roughly a third of the UK population. By 2050, it’s predicted that 50% of the world’s population will be short-sighted.

Our experts are here to give you an overview, answering the all-important question, ‘What is short-sightedness?’, as well as looking at causes, risk factors, symptoms and the importance of early detection and management.

Is myopia the same thing?

Myopia is the clinical term for short-sightedness. It usually develops in childhood and means that while near vision is fine, you struggle to see things further away.

Short-sightedness causes and risk factors

kid holding cell phone closely

This happens due to the eyes sometimes growing longer than they should, meaning light focuses in front of the retina at the back rather than on it. This causes images at certain distances to appear blurry.

The cause of myopia can depend on a few factors. While genetics can play a role, i.e. if one or both parents are myopic, links have also been made with spending a lot of time indoors focusing on close-up objects such as screens, especially during childhood.

Short-sightedness Symptoms

It’s important to look out for behaviour in children such as:

  • sitting very close to the TV
  • frequent rubbing of eyes
  • complaining of headaches or tired eyes
  • difficulty reading things from a distance
  • squinting / head tilting
  • attention issues in class

Importance of early detection and management

early detection of myopia

Early detection is key to successful vision correction and myopia treatment.

A child will typically be prescribed glasses or contact lenses to correct their vision based on their prescription after a comprehensive eye examination. Undiagnosed vision problems can affect children’s learning and overall development, so correcting it as early as possible will help improve your child’s academic performance and how they interact in social settings.

However, catching myopia early and actually treating it rather than just correcting it can slow its progression and also reduce the risk of diseases such as glaucoma or retinal detachment occurring later in life.

At our practices, we offer the most up-to-date technology for managing myopia in children. You might be interested in:

MiSight daily disposable contact lenses

  • MiSight daily disposable contact lenses for children – a soft, hygienic option that is clinically proven to slow myopia progression as well as correcting their vision like normal contact lenses. It also gives them freedom from glasses – perfect for active kids or those who don’t like wearing glasses.
  • HOYA MIYOSMART
  • MiYOSMART myopia control glasses lenses – specifically designed to have different areas of focus. This is proven to slow the growth of the eyeball and therefore myopia progression, as well as correcting their vision. They are fitted into regular glasses and worn everyday, providing protection from glare, UV and are impact resistant too.

Visit McGovern Opticians – Enniskillen

If you notice your child has any myopia symptoms, we encourage you to book an eye exam as the first step to confirm whether they have it or not. We can then discuss myopia treatment if needed. If your child is already short-sighted, we encourage you to get in touch with our friendly team today to find out about myopia management options to give them a brighter future.