The Importance of Starting Myopia Management Early
Myopia management is a branch of pediatric optometry dedicated to decreasing the progression of myopia (nearsightedness) in children.
When a child becomes myopic, the condition often progresses (worsens) every few months.
When a child becomes myopic at an early age, their myopia tends to progress quickly, leading to higher levels of myopia. The higher myopia, the higher the risk of developing sight-threatening diseases later in life. This is why your child should begin myopia management as soon as possible.
Myopia Control is About Protecting Eye Health
Myopia in children may appear to require nothing more than a pair of glasses to correct blurred vision.
However, as the eye elongates, it stretches the retina, the light-sensitive layer lining the back of the eye. Eventually, this excessive stretching renders the eye more prone to tears, inflammation, the formation of new, weak blood vessels and scarring.
This, in turn, raises the risk of cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment and myopic maculopathy — damage to the central retinal area.
When Should Myopia Management Start?
Parents are at times reluctant to start myopia management early as they may believe their child is too young. Does it really matter whether a child has a stronger or weaker prescription if they have to wear glasses anyway?
Actually, it does matter.
The earlier a child becomes myopic, the faster the rate at which their prescription will continue to worsen. Therefore, starting myopia management early, when the myopia is still mild, will have the biggest impact on slowing myopia progression.
Myopia management should begin in children as young as 8 years old.
What is Myopia Management?
Myopia management is an evidence-based program that uses a variety of options to help stop or slow the progression of myopia. Each treatment option for myopia has different advantages and levels of efficacy.
If you’re worried about your child’s myopia, book an assessment to determine whether they can benefit from myopia management. Speak with Dr. Jennifer DenHartog, who will advise you on the [best] treatment options for your child’s vision and lifestyle.Our practice serves patients from West Des Moines, Clive, Waukee, and Urbandale, Iowa and surrounding communities.