At What Age Should Myopia Control Start?

At What Age Should Myopia Control Start?

September 1, 2021

Myopia or nearsightedness is an eye condition that affects the patient’s distant vision. Myopia control or myopia management is the area of childhood eye care based on slowing down the condition.

Myopia usually develops in childhood, progressing as the child gets older before stabilizing in adulthood. Myopia can also begin in early adulthood. There is a higher risk of developing severe myopia when the condition onsets during early childhood.


 

Myopia Control Strategies


It is important to realize that there is no treatment to stop or cure myopia. The goal of myopia control is to slow down the progression of the eye condition. Myopia management is usually achieved through different techniques.


The techniques include using special contact lenses, prescribing special spectacles, or using atropine eye drops. The management options available can slow myopia progression by between 30 to 50 percent.


 

When Myopia Control Should Start


Myopia control should start the moment tests show that the child has myopia. This means that the best time to start is now! The earlier a child develops myopia, the faster their distance vision will continue to get worse.


The eyeglass prescription can get stronger each year when myopia onsets before the child turns 10 years old. You should start myopia control early to reduce the final myopia amount that the child may end up with. Slowing myopia progression works more effectively when it begins early.


 

Slowing Myopia Progression


Every child who develops myopia is likely to experience worsening symptoms over time. Many parents hesitate to get myopia control for their child, taking the “wait and see” attitude. The fact is that if you are waiting to see if your child’s myopia will get worse, it is likely to.


The degree of progression might differ from one child to the next, but without management, the disease will progress. Some parents feel their child may be too young to start the control treatment. It can take time for some kids to get used to special lenses, but they can adjust.


 

The Child’s Maturity Level


When considering an option like contact lenses, the right age should be based on the child’s level of maturity. Some kids mature early for their
age, while others tend to be slower. It is not unusual to find nine- or 10-year-olds who are quite adept at wearing contacts.


Contact lenses are quite safe for kids. Some would argue that kids between eight to 10 years do better than teenagers in using contact lens. As the parent, you will need to remain vigilant to make sure your child is following proper instructions.


 

Detecting Pre-myopia


An eye specialist can detect signs of pre-myopia in kids. There are situations where risk factors indicate that the child is likely to become myopic. One of the major signs is if the child is not as long-sighted as they should be for their age. This, combined with eye muscle coordination issues, can be signs of pre-myopia. The specialist will also consider family history. Spending time outdoors is a great way to delay myopia onset.


Eye examinations are very important for identifying myopia and other eye issues. Early identification is paramount for effective myopia management.


For more on myopia control, visit Family Vision Care Associates at our office in White Plains, New York. You can call 914-359-3300 today to schedule an appointment.

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