Preventing, Treating, and Managing Childhood Myopia

A child wearing eye glasses while doing homework
August 30, 2023
James Ashford

Childhood myopia, or nearsightedness, is a common eye health condition that makes far-away objects appear blurry to children. Experts believe it affects as many as 20% of students. While symptoms can vary, myopia often causes issues for school-age children with academic difficulties linked to poor vision.

Proper management strategies ensure there are no effects of poor eyesight on students, allowing these children to thrive academically. Recognizing the common signs of myopia is crucial to helping children at home and school.

Visiting an OKC children’s eye doctor will help develop a treatment and management plan adapted to the needs of each child, but recognizing the signs of myopia is often the first step in ensuring a child gets access to the eye health care they need.

Childhood Myopia Risk Factors

With over 200 genes linked to myopia, it’s no surprise that nearsightedness runs in some families.

Having parents or relatives with myopia doesn’t necessarily mean a child will develop this condition, but a children’s eye care doctor will establish a comprehensive medical history to assess each child’s risks.

The onset of myopia usually results from a mix of genetic and environmental factors. Among these factors, we find behaviors linked to the increased use of devices and screen time among children:

  • Prolonged Near-Sighted Activities — Reading is an excellent mind-building activity. However, long reading sessions can weaken the eye muscles needed for long-distance vision. Encourage children to take a break from reading about once every fifteen minutes. The same rule applies to screen time.

  • Diet — Research suggests that foods with a high-glycemic index could contribute to an underlying genetic predisposition to developing myopia. Examples include sugary foods and drinks, white bread, and potatoes.

  • Lack of Outdoor Activity — Spending time outside means children are more likely to focus on far-away objects than books or tablets. Scientists also believe that exposure to outdoor light could have a beneficial effect on eye health.

Signs and Symptoms of Myopia

Caregivers should be aware of the symptoms of myopia. These symptoms include blurred vision when gazing at distant objects, squinting for long periods producing headaches, and difficulty seeing in low-light environments.

In children, these symptoms can translate into frequent eye rubbing or a tendency to hold books and devices close to one’s face. At school, children with undiagnosed myopia might struggle with reading.

Treatment Options

If parents ask you about myopia diagnosis and treatment, let them know that a children’s eye doctor can diagnose myopia using techniques such as visual acuity, refraction, and slit-lamp exams. They will also rule out other eye conditions that can cause similar symptoms.

Once they know more about the child’s type and degree of nearsightedness, they will develop a plan to manage the symptoms and prevent myopia from worsening.

Eyeglasses

Eyeglasses with prescription lenses are the primary treatment option for children with myopia. These glasses use concave lenses thinner in the center and thicker on the edges.

These lenses adjust where light rays converge, allowing the convergence point to fall directly on the retina. This mechanism of action corrects blurriness, and the child doesn’t have to squint during lessons to see appropriately.

Contact Lenses

Thanks to recent innovations from contact lens manufacturers, a wide selection of soft and comfortable contact lenses are adapted to children and teens.

Contact lenses use a concave design similar to prescription eyeglasses, but they are more discreet and can feel more natural, and children of certain ages may prefer these over eyeglasses.

Regular Eye Exams

Scheduling regular eye exams is an essential aspect of managing myopia. An optometrist can monitor how the condition progresses and ensure that the child’s prescription still meets their needs.

They can also discuss screen time and other habits with parents and share tips for reducing eye strain in the home and classroom.

Making Eye Health Care Accessible

As a teacher, you can make a difference by watching out for the signs of myopia and communicating with parents.

Vision Care Direct makes children’s eyecare in OKC accessible and affordable through pre-paid vision plans. Learn more about our programs and how they can support children’s eye care access in OKC and nationwide.

Not sure where to get started with recommending self-funded plans? Vision Care Direct of Oklahoma is pre-paid plan provider with and extensive of specialists who deliver eye care in Tulsa and nationwide with excellent value for employers and plan recipients.

Find out more about our self-funded plans and other flexible options.

2022 Plan Year Offering

SIMPLE.
FLEXIBLE.
AFFORDABLE.

Let's Talk About You

Let us know if you have any questions or if you’d like to chat.

Popular blog posts

Teacher Resource Guide to Vision Health for Students

Teacher Resource Guide to Vision Health for Students

6 MIN. READ We often associate decreasing vision with aging, but eye health issues are common in school-age children. As an educator, you can make a difference by familiarizing yourself with common symptoms caused by vision problems. You can also connect families to...

Tips for Including Eye Breaks and Visual Exercises in the Classroom

Tips for Including Eye Breaks and Visual Exercises in the Classroom

4 MIN. READ Healthy vision among students is a top priority for teachers and a lofty, commendable goal. This blog explores the ease and benefits of incorporating eye breaks and visual exercises into your classroom routine. Implementing these techniques helps Oklahoma...

5 Ways to Enhance Your Optometric Practice in 2023

5 Ways to Enhance Your Optometric Practice in 2023

Practice growth is a priority for many Oklahoma vision care providers. Although the average provider's income in Oklahoma is close to $57/hour, the regional income lags behind other parts of the country. Staying ahead of the curve and continuously improving your...

Vision Plans Are a Valuable Employee Benefit Solution

Vision Plans Are a Valuable Employee Benefit Solution

As an employer, you may wonder, “Are vision plans worth it?” Yes, vision plans are valuable employee-benefit solutions that can benefit both your business and your employees. We will explain the different types of vision plans, how they can impact your employees, and...

Smart Contact Lenses Are Coming Soon – Here’s How to Get Them

Smart Contact Lenses Are Coming Soon – Here’s How to Get Them

Smart contact lenses are still in the early stages of development, but they hold enormous potential for the future. They can monitor and manage chronic health conditions, provide real-time feedback during athletic training, or even enhance our daily lives with...

Your Employees Will Love You for Offering Vision Screening

Your Employees Will Love You for Offering Vision Screening

An eye exam is a crucial aspect of maintaining good eye health. It involves a series of tests that assess a person's visual acuity, depth perception, color vision, and eye alignment. The benefits of vision exams are numerous, including early detection of eye diseases,...

How Employers Can Help in the Fight Against Vision Loss

How Employers Can Help in the Fight Against Vision Loss

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the economic cost of major vision problems is projected to increase to $373 billion by 2050. Vision-related issues are estimated to impact 20 million Americans. This means that the likelihood that your...

Customer Care and Personalized Vision Plan Access

Customer Care and Personalized Vision Plan Access

For individuals and families in Oklahoma and nationwide, eye care health is a significant concern. Brokers play an essential role by helping customers navigate their insurance options and advocating for their best care. Customer care and personalized vision plan...

Why You Should Care About the Optometrist/Eye Doctor Face-Off

Why You Should Care About the Optometrist/Eye Doctor Face-Off

In 2022, California Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a measure giving optometrists in the Golden State the legal authority to perform laser eye surgery and some other advanced procedures. It was a victory for ophthalmologists in the ongoing eye doctor or optometrist debate....

Are Blue Light Protection Glasses Worth it?

Are Blue Light Protection Glasses Worth it?

With the advancement of digital devices and the amount of time we now spend in front of them, many people are dealing with eyestrain and fatigue. As a result, blue light protection glasses have become increasingly popular as a way to diminish this stress, and they...

Effective Eye Care for Older Adults Includes These Five Things

Effective Eye Care for Older Adults Includes These Five Things

Since 1900, the percentage of Americans over 65 has almost quadrupled. Yet, only a handful of these individuals live in institutional settings. Therefore, access to quality healthcare, especially eye care, is an issue. That’s especially true since these providers must...

How important are vision care benefits to employees?

How important are vision care benefits to employees?

Eye health is essential to our overall wellness, and employee vision plans are an increasingly popular option for employers. However, do employees understand the unique benefits of these plans and why they’re so vital to our health? Employers should understand what...

What Is Genetic Ophthalmology and What Does It Mean for Eye Health?

What Is Genetic Ophthalmology and What Does It Mean for Eye Health?

Genetic ophthalmology (GO) is an emerging field that could provide more effective treatment for genetic eye diseases such as glaucoma. However, GO also raises some serious concerns that should be addressed as this technology progresses. What is Genetic Ophthalmology?...

Top 5 KPIs to Track When Assessing Plan Performance and Satisfaction

Top 5 KPIs to Track When Assessing Plan Performance and Satisfaction

As a broker, you need to maintain a diverse product portfolio so you can help companies build packages adapted to their needs and budgets. Tracking these 5 key performance indicators when comparing plans will help you better identify the ones that are more likely to...

How to Get Discounts on Frames and Discontinued Lines

How to Get Discounts on Frames and Discontinued Lines

Eyewear and contact lenses are vital to the optometry field. Keeping this in mind, doctors should be aware of the purchase costs of these goods to boost their revenue. Frame reps make commissions on sales, so they’re incentivized to sell as much as possible, but are...

Designing a Modern Optometry Practice

Designing a Modern Optometry Practice

One question that optometrists should consider is, “When patients walk into your optometry office, how do you want them to feel?” Naturally, patients desire comfortable, welcoming, and modern environments, as these characteristics put them at ease. Therefore,...

November 2022: Native American Heritage Month

November 2022: Native American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month celebrates a rich culture and educates people about issues unique to the Native American community. It’s an opportunity to draw attention to health issues that disproportionately affect Native Americans. It’s a group that is at higher...

Top 3 Reasons to Work with Smaller Plan Providers

Top 3 Reasons to Work with Smaller Plan Providers

In the healthcare benefits industry, brokers are essential in helping small businesses find plans. Smaller companies might not have the resources or experience to do thorough research into the options available. Fortunately, there are brokers who understand that...

3 Signs It’s Time to Review and Upgrade Your Benefits Package

3 Signs It’s Time to Review and Upgrade Your Benefits Package

A routine inventory of your benefits package can tell you where you may be able to reduce spending and, equally importantly, can also ensure that it continues to meet the needs of employees. That’s why Vision Care Direct of Oklahoma recommends reviewing your benefits...

October 2022: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 2022: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You might be wondering about the link with vision health. The truth is that a simple eye exam can sometimes detect early signs of cancer. Breast cancer can result in metastasis. When cancer cells break away from the main tumor, they...

Understanding the Ins and Outs of the Vision Plans You Accept

Understanding the Ins and Outs of the Vision Plans You Accept

For eye doctors in Tulsa OK, as well as other states, a regular review of the plans you’re currently accepting, and their ins and outs, is something you should be doing. By understanding the vision plans you accept, you can better identify how you are paid and the...

Top Strategies for Helping Plan Providers Meet Their Goals

Top Strategies for Helping Plan Providers Meet Their Goals

When trying to reduce healthcare spending, employers who offer employee benefits in the state of Oklahoma, as well as anywhere else, should be aware of one fact: there are options available that don’t increase the costs to employees via high deductibles. As a broker,...

Rethinking How You Offer Value Part 3: Build Digital Connections

Rethinking How You Offer Value Part 3: Build Digital Connections

The pandemic has sped up the digital transformation. Many professionals are embracing the virtual world because they realize connections matter. We've been sharing tips about how to rethink the way you offer value as a broker who offers plans accepted by an...

eGuide: Top 10 Ways Vision Care Direct Makes a Broker’s Job Easier

eGuide: Top 10 Ways Vision Care Direct Makes a Broker’s Job Easier

Top 10 Ways eGuide - Vision Care Direct Makes a Broker’s Job EasierOur eGuide is chocked full of ways Vision Care Direct can simplify working with a vision plan.  When you quote a vision plan certainly you are looking at the price and size of the network, and so is...

Search blog posts