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MYTH BUSTED: Can myopia actually be reduced?

It’s not easy watching your children’s eyesight worsen. The worry from finding out that your child needs spectacles is surely one that parents around the world can empathise with. A question that often comes to mind for anxious parents would be if something can be done – can myopia be cured, or at least reduced?

Before we get into this question, let’s first understand more about myopia itself. 

What exactly is myopia?

Myopia, or short-sightedness, is a condition affecting people’s ability to see distant objects. It occurs when the length of the eye becomes too long, which causes light to fall short of the retina. This leads to blurred vision when looking at objects in the distance. 

Children are typically the most vulnerable to myopia, as they (and their eyes) are still growing. On average, myopia develops in children from 8 to 14 years of age. 

Can myopia be cured?

The short answer is unfortunately, no. It’s a common misconception that myopia can be reduced, or even cured. Currently, it’s not possible to reverse the development of myopia, or reduce your child’s myopia degree. 

What is possible, however, is treating myopia, delaying its onset or reducing its progression. 

You may already be familiar with some corrective methods that are prevalent in daily life. Spectacles, contact lenses and refractive (laser) surgery are all common methods that focus light rays onto the retina, with surgery typically being performed only on adults due to the reshaping of the cornea. 

It is also possible to delay the progression of your child’s myopia. Studies have found that appropriate usage of special lenses, like bifocal lenses, and atropine eye drops have had such an effect in slowing the worsening of the myopia condition.

Prevention, the best cure

While it is difficult for your child’s eyesight to “improve” after developing myopia now, future developments have been promising. In fact, drugs that can reverse myopia are soon an actual possibility. 

However, such developments are still in the making. Until then, the wisest course of action for parents would be to ensure that their child’s myopia does not worsen at a rapid pace, or best of all, to prevent the development of short-sightedness from the get-go. 

Myopia is usually only detected through results of an eye examination, and children may only raise issues of blurry vision after the condition has already taken root. To tackle the problem before it has developed, it’s essential for you and your child to consistently practice good eye care habits and take regular and comprehensive eye examinations.

One way to do so would be through using a parental control application. Unhealthy device usage is one factor contributing to the development of myopia. A parental control app can ensure your child’s device usage is effectively managed, even when you may not be around to do so.

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