Childhood myopia refers to the onset of myopia (shortsightedness) at a young age. When myopia develops at such an early stage in life, it is very likely that it will worsen in the future. Given such circumstances, it is plausible that the myopia will reach extremely high degrees overtime in affected people. As such, it is crucial for affected children to consult a doctor immediately.
Common symptoms of this condition are strained near vision, which often results in the following in most children:
According to a study, ‘15% of 4-year olds in Singapore have myopia, and the statistics continue to rise through their growing years with 30% of 7-year-olds being myopic.’ While the exact cause of this condition still remains uncertain, childhood myopia has been suspected to be hereditary. That being said, people who have had the condition themselves are more likely to have children who will develop the same condition.
An eye specialist will be able to provide a comprehensive diagnosis and prescribe options for treatment and management. A popular option is the use of Atropin and Myopin – eye drops that are able to slow the progression of shortsightedness in children.
‘Multiple studies have shown that a low dose of atropine eye drops – with 0.01 per cent concentration of atropine – can slow the progression of myopia by up to 60 per cent.’ An eye specialist will be able to diagnose childhood myopia and prescribe an appropriate treatment option