Brand SpotlightYour Healthy Family


Your Healthy Family: More kids diagnosed with Myopia

Posted at 8:22 AM, Jun 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-01 08:22:26-04

Doctors say more and more kids are being diagnosed with near-sightedness, or myopia, and screen time may be to blame.

The Trivedi family recently noticed their oldest son was showing signs of myopia. This means it's harder for him to clearly see things far away.

"Some of the symptoms that came up were like headaches, or sometimes the eyes are being strained by work," Seema Trivedi, the boy's mom, said.

Optometrist Dr. Cheryl Chapman said not only are more people being diagnosed with myopia, but also, their vision is getting worse faster.

"It is predicted that about 65 percent of Americans will be nearsighted by the year 2050," Dr. Chapman said.

She said increased time on computers and phones means eyes are focused on screens up close.

"The myopic eye is growing longer and longer and as the eye grows longer, the retina becomes more stretched out," she said.

She said the biggest concern is the impact on eye health over time. But there are ways to slow the progression, including specific eye drops, contact lenses, and a therapy called Orthokeratology.

"It's basically like a retainer for the cornea, re-shaping the cornea while the child sleeps," Dr. Chapman said.

The Trivedis are treating myopia for both sons now using various treatment options, but they say they're also changing the way they live their lives.

"Watch their work for 20 minutes, take a 20 second break, and look away 20 feet away," Seema Trivedi said. "We are trying to actually go back to old school, like doing board games and doing other things that are not just electronics."

Dr. Chapman and the Trivedi family urge others to take myopia seriously and act early.

"You know there is no cure, but at least we are now taking the right steps of increasing his chances of having the most healthy adult life as possible," Kirt Trivedi, the boys' father, said.