Myopia, or short-sightedness, is caused when light rays bend incorrectly and the image is focused in front of the retina instead of on it. This is a very common phenomenon in children. Nearly 5% of preschoolers, 9% of school students, and 30% of adolescents suffer from myopia.
Though the symptoms might vary from one child to another, there are a few sure-shot ways to understand if your child suffers from myopia or not. If you think they are showing the following symptoms, this article can help you to figure it out.
Your child squints very often
One extremely common sign of myopia in children is that they squint very often, to the point where parents get really concerned. So if you see that your child keeps squinting and blinking while doing daily activities, like watching television or reading books, it can point toward myopia.
Many times, children often close or squint just one eye while the other eye seems to focus normally. Unfortunately, this also indicates that your child needs to go for an eye check-up immediately.
They suffer from headaches
Having a headache now and then is alright, but what does it indicate when your child constantly complains of headaches? Even though headaches don’t directly point to myopia, they can definitely be a good cause.
They occur because your child focuses on books or screens that appear blurry to them. This causes constant stress in their eyes, which results in headaches. If the headaches are accompanied by watering the eyes, this can also be a sign of myopia.
Excessive rubbing of eyes
Another common symptom of myopia is when you see your little one always rubbing their eyes. Excessive rubbing of the eyes can lead to watering and redness too.
Of course, if you see your child’s eyes become red, it can also be proof of other eye conditions like conjunctivitis, but keep track of how often they are rubbing or massaging their eyes. If they do it every hour or so (or even more often), myopia can be one of the biggest causes.
Holding objects too close to their faces
Since near-sightedness makes a person see things up close but not when they are placed at a distance, you might see your child frequently holding books, magazines, or anything else that has writing on it too close to their face.
If you see this happening, an eye appointment is a must. This is because if this habit of holding things up too close persists, it can result in long-term eye deformity or major complications. In addition, when your child holds phone or tablet screens too close, it can further harm their eyes.
They don’t want to spend time outdoors
Nowadays, children come up with excuses not to spend time outdoors because TVs and phones consume their entire world.
But if your child says they don’t wish to go out since the sun hurts their eyes or it becomes hard for them to focus on the games being played, then you know they need your attention as soon as possible.
Children suffering from myopia find it difficult to look at things in natural light and even have problems while playing simple sports like tennis because the small balls are out of their eyes’ focus.
They don’t wish to go for eye appointments
No kid ever wants to visit their optometrist, but kids who have myopia hate it even more. This is because they find it tough to focus on the letters and words shown to them, making them feel annoyed or upset.
While not wanting to go for eye checkups isn’t a sign of myopia, it can still be a hint. If your kid says that the letters in the optometrist’s chamber look out of focus, ask them why it is so. Chances are, you’ll be able to figure out easily if they have myopia or not.
Over to you…
While myopia can cause a few problems here and there, early treatment can reduce or even eliminate this condition. Your child’s optometrist will prescribe glasses or eye drops. The critical thing to remember here is to regularly take your kid for checkups and track their progress.