Many parents may think that myopia in their children will resolve as they grow older. So, they take their time before seeking intervention. By the time they do, their child’s poor eyesight is more severe, making it hard to slow down its progression. So, how old does one need to be to start myopia management?
Deciding when to start myopia management requires an assessment of the risks to your child. These are greater if they occur before the child is 10 years old. Thus, myopia management should begin as soon as you notice that your child has a problem. Delay worsens the risks, and the symptoms will not resolve themselves.
Some children take time to adapt to wearing spectacles, but there are options like contact lenses. Get them the ones they find comfortable but ensure they follow the doctor’s instructions. You should also ensure they are consistent when using whatever management option the doctor prescribes.
Starting myopia management for your child keeps the refractive error as low as possible. In some cases, doctors are successful in reversing the deterioration of vision. When you sit back and do nothing, you are sentencing your child to a lifetime of problems with myopia. They can lose sight as they grow older due to the early onset of age-related eye diseases.
Delay in starting myopia management could also make your child miss their developmental milestones. Vision is critical to achieving these milestones. So when there are vision issues in children, it is advisable to start as soon as possible.
There are many options for myopia management. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the options your child may have.
These are a popular option for younger children since they are easy to wear. However, they may also limit your child from joining sports and other activities. Be cautious with the use of single-vision glasses. Studies show that they may contribute to worsening the condition. They cause light to focus on the retina and increase the axial length. An increase in axial length worsens myopia.
These are a better option for older children who are responsible. It allows them to participate in sports and other activities. It also improves their confidence in social gatherings. When using contacts, remember that single-vision lenses are not the best option. Thus, the doctor may use bifocal or multifocal lenses.
Orthokeratology or ortho-k is an option that uses contact lenses specifically designed for nightwear. They shape your child’s cornea as they sleep. They remove them when they wake up, and the treatment allows them to see clearly during the day.
They are an option for children who keep losing their eyeglasses or contact lenses. They also reduce the axial length and stop the elongation of the eye, reducing myopia and mitigating it in some cases.
Myopia management should start as soon as possible, whether in childhood or adulthood. Otherwise, there is a risk of losing vision due to age-related eye conditions.
For more information on myopia management, visit Beach Cities Optometry at our Manhattan Beach, California office. Call (310) 906-4426 to schedule an appointment today.