Do You Have to Be a Certain Age to Start Myopia Management?

May 3, 2022

Globally, more people are developing myopia early. But with the development of technology, doctors can now slow the advancement of the condition. Myopia is hereditary, so it can pass to your children if you have it.


The Appropriate Age to Begin Myopia Treatment and Management


It is never too early to start myopia treatment and management. Doctors recommend that you must begin managing it as soon as you realize that there is a problem. Kids need to go for eye exams from around six years of age.


Early diagnosis reduces the chances of them facing lifelong side effects of the condition. If not treated, risks relating to myopia include glaucoma, myopic macular degeneration, and retinal detachment. These diseases may result in blindness.


Factors That Increase the Risk of Myopia


Children under the age of seven with shortsightedness are at a higher risk of developing myopia. At this age, the eyeball has more time to grow and lengthen. The growth becomes exponential as they grow through adolescence and puberty. The child may also be at risk if myopic prescription increases annually.


Is Myopia Predictable in Children?


Predicting myopia in children is possible by having a doctor check their refractive error.


Doctors have indexes that they use to measure a child’s eyesight. An ordinary three-year-old child has a hypermetropia of around +2.00. The value reduces to approximately +1.00 when they reach six years old. Hypermetropia (long-sightedness) acts as a cushion that helps prevent myopia in kids’ eyes.


If your child’s hypermetropia indices are less than usual, their risk of developing shortsightedness increases. Their risk factors increase if either one or both the parents have the condition. Knowing this, you may want them to start myopia treatment and management.


Prevention of Myopia


Myopia is tough to prevent because it is often hereditary. However, it is possible to control its progression. Ensure your kids have eye exams from a young age. It is all-important if your family has a history of any eye condition.


Watch out for any signs and symptoms of shortsightedness in your children. Schedule an annual eye exam for you and your family. Follow up on any changes in corrective prescription glasses. Keep in mind that over-correction can exacerbate myopia.


As a countermeasure, encourage more outdoor activities for the kids. Exposure to the natural light during the day may deter the progress of myopia. A low dose of atropine also helps slow the progression of myopia in children.


When to Stop Myopia Management


Research shows that approximately 50 percent of myopia cases in children stop progressing at the age of 16. Another 75 percent may stabilize at age 18, while up to 90 percent stabilize by age 21. Your child’s myopia management may go on well into their college years.


Their years of management also depend on the number of hours they spend on near-work. The stabilization of myopia is not perfect. You will require regular eye exams. They help monitor your eye health.


For more on when to start myopia management, call Eye Associates of New York at (212) 650-4888 to reach our office in New York, New York.

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