Gift-giving season is just around the corner! If your child has myopia (nearsightedness), you may want to consider giving a gift that supports eye health and slows myopia progression.
Why Does Myopia Progression Matter?
Many parents assume that having myopia is only a matter of blurred distance vision, but that’s not the whole story.
Children who have myopia are significantly more likely to develop sight-threatening eye diseases later in life, like glaucoma, cataracts, retinal detachment, and macular degeneration. Rapidly progressing myopia further increases the risk of eye disease later in life.
Myopia occurs when the eye elongates, and light focuses in front of the retina instead of on the retina. The exact cause of myopia is unknown, but genetics play an important role. Certain environmental factors may also have an impact.
That’s why it’s important for parents to consider how holiday gifts can affect their children’s eyes and vision.
Gifts That Won’t Help Your Child’s Myopia
The first category of items to consider eliminating from your holiday shopping list includes toys or devices with digital screens. Although the association has not been clinically proven, most optometrists agree that increased screen time has a negative impact on myopia progression.
While spending time on screens is almost inevitable during the pandemic, it’s wise to be realistic about its potential ramifications for children. Even prior to COVID-19, the number of myopic children was steadily increasing, and projected to affect 50% of the world’s population by 2050.
Another gift to rethink: eyeglasses. Tempting though it may be to purchase new glasses for your child this holiday season, it’s important to remember that new specs can only correct blurred vision; they don’t treat the underlying cause of myopia.
Better Gifts For Myopic Children
Try encouraging your myopic child to spend more time outdoors by giving them new outdoor gear. It is well documented that children who spend more time outdoors in the sunshine have a slower rate of myopia progression, so why not add a new bike, basketball, or rollerblades to your gift list?
However, the best gift you can give your child with myopia is a personalized myopia management program.
Why Myopia Management?
Myopia management is the only effective way to slow down the rate of your child’s myopia progression.
The myopia management program at Blacksburg Eye Associates offers three effective and safe treatments for myopia, including Ortho-K lenses, atropine eye drops, and multifocal contact lenses.
A comprehensive eye exam with Dr. Colleen Mitchell and Dr. Adrianna Hempelmann will determine the best treatment option for your child’s eyes and lifestyle.
Consider myopia management — a gift that will help preserve your child’s precious gift of sight. Call Blacksburg Eye Associates to schedule an eye exam today.
Blacksburg Eye Associates serves patients from Blacksburg, Radford, Christiansburg, New River Valley, and throughout Virginia.