In Singapore, the incidence of myopia in children is very high. Surveys indicate that myopia aff ects one in four 7 year olds, a third of 9 year olds, and half of 12 year olds.
Childhood myopia is a progressive form of short-sightedness (myopia) that occurs during a child’s growing years and worsens throughout childhood. The condition is easily corrected with corrective visual aids like glasses, and the condition usually stabilises when a child reaches his or her mid-teens.
Evidence indicates that progressive childhood myopia or short-sightedness is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. We know that children of myopic parents are more likely to have myopia.
There is also evidence that environmental infl uences interacting with genes play a major role. Other habits such as long periods of detailed or close work and childhood illnesses may also influence the progression of myopia.
Another reason could be the intensity
of near work, such as reading, studying
and computer usage, that takes place in
School-age children may complain that they cannot see the whiteboard at school or the bus number of the oncoming bus at the bus stop.
Other signs of myopia include :
Myopia cannot be reversed or cured, but it can be slowed or prevented :
Practising good eye care habits is one
of the best ways to prevent myopia in
your child. While near work (such as
school work, working on computers or
reading) is unavoidable, ensure that your
child takes frequent breaks to rest his/
Parents can encourage children to
practise good eye care habits to prevent
myopia from occuring or worsening.
Glasses can correct myopia.
The Singapore Eye Research
Institute (SERI) has successfully
conducted clinical trials* to
investigate the progression of
childhood myopia with the use
of atropine eyedrops.
*(Atropine in the Treatment of Myopia
Practise these good eye care habits :
Yearly eye examinations are also
important to detect any vision
problems early. Corrective visual aids
like glasses, when required, will help
the eye to focus better.
Myopia cannot be prevented or
improved by :
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