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Is It Time for an Eye Exam?

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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)

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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