NEARSIGHTEDNESS: A REAL CHILDREN’S HEALTH CONCERN

Now considered a major health concern, myopia (nearsightedness) has increased by 66% in the United States since 1971. Onset can begin as early as age 6, and early detection is the key to prevention and reduction of potentially serious complications later in life.

Nearsightedness (myopia) is a common vision condition diagnosed during a basic eye exam. For those who are nearsighted, objects that are farther away appear blurry. Myopia is caused by genetics, as well as other environmental factors. For instance, staring at any object for too long can cause the eye to elongate — it’s this elongation that leads to myopia.

Adults and children with myopia, or nearsightedness, have difficulty seeing objects clearly from a distance because their corneas are usually slightly longer than normal from front to back. This common condition is often genetic, but studies also link the recent surge in cases to the increased use of handheld electronic devices.

Without treatment, children could fall behind in school, experience eyestrain and headaches, or face more serious future risks, such as retinal detachment, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and blindness.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

  • HEADACHES  Caused by excessive eyestrain
  • DIFFICULTY DRIVING Especially at night
  • FEELING FATIGUED  When driving or playing sports
  • BLURRY VISION  When looking at distant objects
  • SQUINTING Or partially closing the eyelids to see clearly

THE CONSEQUENCES OF UNTREATED MYOPIA

When left undiagnosed and untreated, myopia (nearsightedness) can lead to a host of complications, such as reduced ability to learn, and later in life:2

  • Cataracts tend to develop sooner in nearsighted eyes.
  • Nearsighted people are 2 to 3 times more likely to get glaucoma.
  • Myopia increases the risk of retinal detachment.

At Beyer Eye we can perform a simple examination to determine if the vision issues you’re experiencing are caused by myopia — and put a treatment plan in place that may prevent further complications associated with myopia.

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