Students all over the world are spending more time in front of screens due to the COVID-19 lockdowns. Online learning has helped children keep up with their curriculum while staying safe during the pandemic.
But research has found that near-work, including being on a computer or digital device, comes at a price. Eye doctors everywhere are reporting an increase in the number of children who come in for glasses, either to strengthen their prescription or to get eyeglasses for the first time.
So, if your child has been learning in a virtual setting and you notice that they’ve been squinting more or complaining that their vision isn’t clear — know you are not alone.
At Village Eye Centre in , we help children just like yours in all matters of ocular and visual health. Call today to schedule your child’s myopia consultation.
Why Does Myopia Matter?
Myopia, or nearsightedness, occurs when the eye grows too long and focuses the light in front of the retina instead of on the retina itself. This causes distant objects to appear blurry.
Myopia is more than just a matter of clear vision — it can significantly increase your child’s risk of developing sight-threatening eye diseases like glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, and retinal detachment — in the future. In fact, children who have rapidly progressing or high levels of myopia are even more at risk.
That’s why it's important to stop or slow the progression of myopia in children as early as possible.
How Can Online Learning Affect Myopia?
The exact cause of myopia isn’t yet known, but we do know that excessive near work contributes to the onset and progression of myopia. Online learning using a table, smartphone, or computer is considered near work, since these devices are usually held or placed close to the face.
When researchers studied the effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on about 120,000 Chinese children, they discovered that children aged 6-8 experienced significant visual changes. Their myopia had worsened rapidly over the course of a few months while in lockdown. This was attributed to the increase in near activities like online learning, but also to a lack of outdoor activities.
Previous studies have found that children who spend significant time outdoors playing in the sunshine experience less myopia progression than children who are homebodies.
Is Myopia Treatable?
Here’s the good news: your child’s myopia can be treated! We can halt or slow your child’s myopia progression and minimize their risk of future eye disease.
Advanced EyeCare offers the latest and most effective myopia management treatments that can help preserve your child’s vision for the long term.
To schedule your child’s myopia consultation, call Village Eye Centre in North Edmonton today!
At Village Eye Centre, we put your family's needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 587-410-5920 or book an appointment online to see one of our North Edmonton eye doctors.
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