Myopia Signs and Symptoms in Children

Posted by Harvard Sylvan, OD on Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Myopia, also called nearsightedness, is a common problem where light rays passing through the eye are focused before they reach the retina. The retina is the light sensing membrane at the back of the eye that contains the rods and cones that collect and transfer the light via the optic nerve to the brain that then produces the images that we call ‘seeing’.

Ideally, light passing through the eye will come to a sharp focal point at the retina. When light is focused in front of the retina, as in myopia, distance vision becomes blurred. The degree of blur depends on how far the focal point is in front of the retina. While distance vision is blurred, near vision is usually clear. Myopia in children is usually the result of the length of the eye being too long with regard to the focusing power of the cornea and/or lens or the focusing power of the cornea and/or lens being too strong for the particular length of the eye.

The most common signs that should alert parents that their child may be myopic are squinting when looking at objects that are not close and sitting close to the TV. Headaches are also common as are complaints of ‘eyestrain’. Poor grades may be another sign as the student may not be able to see the board in school clearly. Difficulty in sports may also be due to myopia. There is a genetic basis to myopia. If both parents are myopic, there is a greater chance that the child will also become myopic. The age at which a child develops myopia varies, but generally, 7 to 12 years old is a common age range.

Blurred distance vision due to myopia is most frequently corrected by prescription glasses or contact lenses. If the child is mature enough to handle contacts, daily disposable contact lenses, such as CooperVision’s Proclear 1 Day lenses, are recommended.

Myopia control is the subject of much research as there is a significant increase in the prevalence of myopia globally. Several studies have demonstrated that taking part in outdoor activities for some portion of the day results in less myopic development. One theory is that the ambient outdoor light is a key factor in less myopic development. Certain topical drugs can be used to slow the progression of myopia, but they cause a reduction in the ability to see up close and they also cause the pupil to dilate and therefore increase light sensitivity. The use of special bifocal contact lenses and lenses that reshape the cornea have both demonstrated some ability to slow the development of myopia but are not yet approved for that use.

If your child is having trouble academically or in sports, squints when looking at objects that are not close, sits too close to the TV or complains that he/she can’t see objects in the distance that others can see, have an evaluation by an eye doctor to determine the underlying cause.

Having Trouble Reading the Board? Read This!

Posted by CooperVision on Wednesday, September 7, 2011
School is back in session! Are you having trouble reading the board? Do you find yourself squinting to read street signs while driving? You may be experiencing myopia, one of the most common vision conditions. An estimated 70 million people in the United States suffer from myopia, often referred to as nearsightedness, a condition in which the eye sees near objects clearly but distant objects appear blurry.

How can I tell if I have myopia?
Symptoms include distant objects appearing blurry, squinting, and eyestrain. Myopia is often diagnosed in children, but as the eyeball continues to grow, it is likely that the myopia will also worsen. The condition generally stabilizes around age 16 for women and around age 25 for men; however some cases can worsen with age. The condition can be hereditary - you have a greater risk if both of your parents are nearsighted.

The best way to ensure that the symptoms you're experiencing are attributed to myopia is to discuss them with your eye care professional, who can perform a comprehensive eye exam to diagnose the condition. To find an eye care professional near you, please click here.

How is myopia treated?
Myopia can be corrected using spherical contact lenses or glasses. Correction requires a "minus" lens to "weaken" the eye optimally, permitting clear distance vision. Click here to see a visual demonstration! CooperVision offers a range of contact lens brands that correct for myopia including Avaira, Biofinity, and Proclear. Try CooperVision contact lenses for free* with this Free Trial Coupon.

*By prescription only. Eye exam may be required and this coupon does not include eye exam or fitting fees. Print and bring this offer to your next visit with your eye care professional.

What is Myopia?

Posted by CooperVision on Thursday, July 28, 2011
Nearly 70 million people in the United States suffer from myopia. Commonly referred to as nearsightedness, myopia is a condition in which near objects (objects up close) are viewed clearly and objects in the distance appear blurred. Myopia occurs when the eyeball is too long for the focusing power of the lens and cornea; creating an overpowered eye that causes images to reach true focus in front of the retina.

Most cases of myopia are diagnosed in children or teens; however the condition tends to run in families - if both of your parents have myopia, your risk level increases. Symptoms include eyestrain, squinting, and distant objects appearing blurry. Myopia can be corrected with spherical contact lenses or glasses. Correction requires a "minus" lens to "weaken" the eye optically, permitting clear distance vision. Click here for a visual description of the way in which spherical contact lenses correct for myopia.

If you think you or your child may be experiencing myopia, contact your eye care practitioner. Myopia is usually diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam. Click here to find an eye care practitioner near you.

Anatomy of the Eye

Posted by CooperVision on Thursday, December 23, 2010

Did you know?  The human eye has the sharpest vision when light rays passing through the various structures of the eye meet at a sharp focal point on the foveal area of the retina.  Although the cornea and lens of the eye may be perfectly round, if light rays are focused before they reach the retina (a condition known as Myopia or Nearsightedness), distance vision will not be clear.   If light rays are focused behind the plane of the retina (a condition known as Hyperopia or Farsightedness) vision may or may not be clear depending on the amount of hyperopia and the amount of someone’s focusing ability.  Although a hyperopic person may see clearly both at distance and near, if too much focusing effort is needed, discomfort, headaches, etc. may occur.  If not enough focusing ability is available, vision will not be clear up close or at both up close and distance. 

Distortion of vision can also occur when the curvature of the cornea is football-shaped (a condition known as Astigmatism) rather than uniformly round as light rays will not be focused at a sharp focal point.

                                                

About On Eye

On Eye is the contact lens blog from CooperVision. On this site, you will find insights about fitting, technology, and the business of contact lenses. The On Eye blog is designed to meet the needs of both Eye Care Practitioners and consumers. ECP and medical professional-specific portions of the blog will be password protected in order to protect and reserve the privacy of the profession. To read more about our terms of use, please see the Legal tab.

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