Myopia, also called nearsightedness or shortsightedness, is the most common vision issue among children and young adults and it’s only getting worse. Approximately 20 million children in the United States, or one in every three, suffer from myopia and recent studies show that half the world will be myopic in 2050.
We sat down with Dr. Selena Chan from Pacific Rims Optometry to learn more about myopia and the role that COVID-19 is playing in the increasing rates in our children.
Why should parents care?
Myopia can have a long term effect on children’s eyes, but there are things that parents can do to prevent it and to help it from leading to more severe eye complications later in life.
Prevention – what parents can do now
Increase outdoor time – 2 to 3 hours per day is ideal. Children need to be able to look at long distances to maintain proper eye health.
Reduce screen time – seems impractical now with most of our children engaged in online learning but you can limit screen time and build in breaks.
Proper reading tips – research indicates that reading at night rather than in the morning may be more beneficial for children. Another tip, change the backgrounds on digital devices to have black backgrounds with white text.
Get a comprehensive eye exam – don’t wait until you are aware of an issue with your child’s vision. Schedule an annual eye exam to ensure your child has optimal vision and eye health.