More than meets the eye – a parents’ quick guide to identifying early signs of myopia in your little one.
Our young ones are too little to verbalise or even notice any differences in their eyesight. As parents, it is our job to be detectives and look out for any signs of myopia that our kids may be exhibiting, so that early preventative measures can be taken.
What is myopia?
Myopia, also known as near- or short-sightedness, is a common vision condition, where objects nearby are clear, but objects further away appear blurry.
Myopia is on the rise globally, and Singapore is no exception. In fact, according to the Health Promotion Board, Singapore has the highest rate of childhood myopia in 7 to 9 year olds in the world. There are many reasons as to why this is the case, but some include extended screen time, genetic factors as well as a lack of time spent outdoors.
Symptoms of myopia
The most obvious clue that your child may have myopia, especially for older kids, is if they complain of faraway things looking blurry and unclear, or if they complain of having difficulties reading off the whiteboard.
Other symptoms are not so obvious to spot and may be non-verbal. If you notice them frequently squinting their eyes or tilting their heads to look at objects further away, that may be a strong sign that you should get your kids’ eyes checked out. Also, if you notice them holding their books or devices (phones and tablets) closer to their face than normal, or sitting closer to the TV than they normally do, that’s also a major clue. Other signs include blinking rapidly or rubbing their eyes frequently.
Better safe than sorry!
Kids who develop myopia from a young age are more likely to develop a more severe form of myopia when they grow up, which can, in turn, lead to a whole host of other eye problems if untreated.
Early detection is the best solution, so if you notice your child displaying any of the symptoms mentioned above, book an eye appointment ASAP.
In this digital age, screen time management is important, as it is a major contributing factor to myopia. Let me let you in on this parenting hack – the planoApp has been a lifesaver for me and my kids. Personally, I use it to schedule timings where device usage is not allowed (extremely helpful if you have kids who like to sneak in screen time after lights out)!
Now that you are equipped with the knowledge of the common symptoms of myopia, start observing your child’s behaviour and keep a look out for any clues starting today!
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