Myopia, also known as short-sightedness, can’t be reversed. If your child has myopia, however, there are steps you can take to stop it from getting worse. Myopia is partly genetic, so there is only so much you can do. There are, however, environmental factors that may affect your child’s eyesight. This is where you do have some control. These tips are for parents with myopic children who want to ensure they are taking care of their eyes as much as possible.
- Limit screen time
We all spend a lot of time on screens, but reducing your child’s screen time can be an effective form of myopia treatment that will improve their eye health as well as offering other benefits such as improved mood and physical health.
Reducing screen time isn’t an easy feat, but taking simple steps like setting screen-free zones and times of day will help you encourage your child to spend less time on their phones and more with their family.
- Encourage outdoor time
Studies have shown that outdoor time decreases the risk of myopia and slows it down. In addition to this, outdoor time is great for children. It encourages physical exercise, gets them off their screens, and can improve their mental health.
Rather than forcing your kids outside every day, make outdoor time a family activity. Taking walks together, visiting parks, or creating fun outdoor activities like sports and treasure hunts will make outdoor time a fun activity for the entire family.
- Explain myopia to your child
While you can encourage your child to wear their glasses, reduce their screen time, and spend more time outside, it will be far more effective if your child understands why you are encouraging them to do this.
If your child is diagnosed with myopia, spend time together talking about it, what causes it, and what can be done (and what can’t be done) to treat it. This will encourage your child to take myopia management into their own hands and also have a better understanding of eye health.
- Research myopia management
Myopia management is a growing area of research that uses contact lenses or eye drops to manage myopia and stop it from getting worse. Daily contact lenses or ortho-k lenses (a type of rigid lens worn overnight that shapes your eyes) may help slow myopia.
Myopia management is something to speak to your child’s doctor about. They will be able to advise you about the research out there and whether or not myopia management lenses or eye drops will be effective for your child.
- Accept you can’t fully treat it
While these tips offer a variety of options for managing myopia, ultimately you will need to accept that your child is short-sighted and their sight may get worse. Even though screen time and outdoor time may have an effect, you can’t blame yourself or your kid’s environment for myopia. Focus your efforts instead on teaching your kid how to care for and manage their eye health. This will help them more long-term!