Children’s Eye Health: Getting to Know Myopia or Nearsightedness in Children

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School from Home increases nearsightedness complaints in children. What do parents need to watch out for? 

Myopia or nearsightedness is a common vision problem that often begins between the ages of 6 to 14. It affects up to 5% of preschoolers, about 9% of school-age children, and nearly 30% of teens.

“Myopia (nearsightedness) is caused by genetic factors and habitual factors. If the parent suffers from myopia, then it is likely that the child also suffers from myopia. While the habit factor of seeing at close range can also be a trigger for myopia such as reading, playing gadgets, writing, sewing, and other activities that use close visibility for a long time,

How does myopia or nearsightedness in children occur?

Myopia occurs when a child’s eyeball shape is longer than a normal eyeball size. It can also develop when the cornea, the clear window at the front of the eye, curves too sharply. When light enters your child’s eye, its rays fall just below the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. This makes distant objects blurry and near objects clear. As they grow, nearsightedness usually diminishes and instead it is likely that they will experience nearsightedness.


Signs that need to be observed

Complaining of less clear vision such as not being able to see writing on a whiteboard or if watching TV always wants to move forward.
Often squint to be able to read or see distant objects.
• Frequent rubbing of the eyes to get sharper vision.
Easily distracted from seeing or paying attention to objects that are at long distances.
• Frequent blinking.
• The position of the eyes is not straight (squint).
Frequently complaining
of headaches Diagnosing myopia and its treatment

If the child does not pass a vision examination at the child’s doker, they most likely have myopia and to get a proper diagnosis, the child needs to be examined by an ophthalmologist.


diagnosing myopia in pediatric patients requires a complete and careful examination. Starting from the examination of vision function to the examination of the entire structure of the eyeball.

Myopia cannot be cured but it can be treated. The goal of treatment is to improve the child’s vision and prevent it from getting worse. It is important to protect their eye health in the future, although they still need glasses or contact lenses.

for myopia can be used at any time so that your child can see far away. It is important to choose a comfortable eyeglass frame, according to the age and activity of the child. For example, if your child is still small, buy glasses with a rope so that it is easy to wear, not easily fall and damaged, or lost. A optician can help you get glasses that are appropriate for your child’s age and needs.

lenses are another option if your child prefers them, especially when they have to do physical activities such as sports. Although there is no age limit on contact lens use, children should be able to tolerate eye drops and practice good hygiene. Contact lenses need to be treated and routinely kept clean to prevent eye infections. Your child still needs to have glasses even if he wears contact lenses more often. If red eyes occur or pain when wearing contact lenses, call your eye doctor immediately.


Myopia and the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has led many schools to conduct distance teaching or virtual schools. This means more and more time children spend looking at their screens. The existence of social distancing and stay at home regulations also makes children spend less time outdoors. To help lower the risk of myopia especially during a pandemic, remind your child to take frequent breaks while he or she reads, writes, or draws and if possible, limit recreational time in front of a television screen or device.

Here are some suggestions from doctor that parents can do:

Spend more time outdoors, especially in the morning in order to be exposed to sunlight (make sure the prokes are still running).
• Consumption of nutritious food.
• Apply the formula 20:20:20 when the child is using close vision. The point is that every time you stare at the screen for 20 minutes, the child must rest by looking at objects as far as 20 feet (6 meters) for 20 seconds.
• Perform an eye health examination of the child at least once every 1 year. The goal is to prevent and treat eye abnormalities as early as possible as they will affect the success of therapy.

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