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There are two things I have begun to notice in family and the social gatherings I attend: an increasing number of people looking at their cell phones when they ought to be in the present moment, and an increasing number of children with glasses for short-sightedness or nearsightedness.
August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month and it would be a good idea to take a quick look at some basics of nearsightedness in children - how you can tell it is time to take your child for an eye check-up, what happens in the condition of nearsightedness, and what could be the possible reasons why children as young as 5 years old get glasses to correct short-sightedness or myopia.
As per the National Council’s For Biotechnology Information’s journal PubMed (Article Title: Patterns of Eye Care Use and Expenditures Among Children with Diagnosed Eye Conditions; Author(s): Michael Ganz, Ziming Xuan, and David G. Hunter; URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2077983/#R5), as many as 2% of first graders have myopia and this percentage increases drastically to 15% by the time they enter high school (Source: Optometry & Vision Science; Report Title: Myopia development in childhood ; Author(s): Zadnik K. The Glenn A. Fry Award Lecture (1995); Year of Publication: 1997;74)
Your child could be beginning to develop myopia if:
• S/he complains of blurred vision of distant objects and words/letters on boards and books.
• S/he squints or frowns while reading or watching television
• S/he gets watery eyes a few minutes into reading or trying to visually focus
• S/he tries to go close to the object to recognize or read it
• S/he complains of mild headaches after trying to visually focus at school
If any one or a combination of the above symptoms are true for your child, it may be a good idea to take her/him for an eye check-up.
(Source: British United Provident Association (BUPA), U.K; Article Title: Short-sightedness; URL: http://www.bupa.co.uk/individuals/health-information/directory/s/myopia#textBlock213181)