Myopia is a vision condition (refractive error) that results in a blurred vision of distant objects. It is usually due to an anomaly of the eyeball that is too long, the distance between the cornea and the retina being too great. The images are blurred because they are formed in front of the retina rather than on the retina.
Myopia is becoming increasingly common among young people. The earlier the myopia appears the more rapidly it evolves, this also increasing the risk of ocular diseases in adulthood. It is therefore very important to screen for myopia, monitor this vision disorder and consult an ophthalmologist.
At the Children's Hospital, the Ophthalmology Department treats patients with myopia. At the initial consultation the ophthalmologist carries out a thorough examination, administering drops to dilate the pupils. This initial examination can take between 60 and 90 minutes. Additional examinations may be needed depending on the type of myopia. The ophthalmologist will prescribe an optical correction, usually glasses. A further examination after 6 months will check whether the myopia has evolved. If so, treatment can slow the progress of the myopia. Special lenses may be proposed or regular drops of diluted atropine with regular monitoring.
Advice to parents
Myopia is a very common vision disorder. Early action on detecting the first signs can avoid the development of ocular diseases.
Here are the signs to watch out for:
- Your child squints to see into the distance
- Your child has difficulty reading from the board in the classroom
- Your child leans close to the page when reading or writing
- You child sits close to the TV screen
To preserve your child's eyesight encourage him or her to play outside so as to benefit from natural daylight and limit screen time.