How the pandemic has affected kids’ vision, and what parents can do about it.
Parents and kids in the Denver area have dealt with a year of school closures, virtual learning and more screen time than ever before. While computers and screens have helped our kids stay somewhat connected, new evidence confirms that too much screen time has impacted kids’ vision and eye health.
How the pandemic changed kids’ eyes
Even before the pandemic, childhood myopia was on the rise, now impacting 1 in 3 kids in the U.S. Myopia, often called nearsightedness, is an eye disease where the eye grows too long, resulting in blurry distance vision. Genetics and environmental factors contribute to the onset of myopia, and research shows that more indoor time for kids is driving an increase in myopia. There is also evidence that near work, like screen time, contributes to myopia in kids. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association Ophthalmology, new data from China found that home confinement during COVID-19 has created a significant increase in myopia among children aged 6-8 years, with the prevalence of myopia increasing 1.4 to 3 times in 2020 compared with the previous five years. At our practice in Highlands Ranch, we are seeing this as well since the start of the pandemic with more kids’ vision issues than ever before.
Why Myopia in Kids Matters
Many parents remember getting their first pair of glasses in school to correct their vision. While glasses and contacts can help a child see clearly, they don’t treat the underlying issue or prevent kids’ vision from getting worse over time. Left untreated, children with myopia have a significantly higher risk for retinal detachment, glaucoma and other serious eye-health complications in their lifetime. If, like most parents, your child has consumed more screen time indoors during the pandemic there is hope! There are now treatments for myopia that can slow or even stop myopia from getting worse. Our eye care practice in Highlands Ranch specializes in these treatments.
Early intervention is key for kids’ vision
Over the last decade, medical advancements have proven that myopia in children is now treatable. So the good news for parents is that you don’t have to watch as your child’s vision deteriorates every year. These treatments, which are non-surgical, are offered by specialized eye doctor practices like ours and are designed to slow or even stop the progression of myopia. The result is we can slow down the elongation of a child’s eye, resulting in better vision for a child now and reducing the risk of serious eye diseases associated with myopia later in life. Like most health care treatments, early detection and treatment is key to getting the best outcomes.
Add a comprehensive eye exam to your summer checklist
With school out and summer here, now is the perfect time to proactively get your child’s eyes checked at a Treehouse Eyes provider like Highlands Ranch HD Eye Care. The first eye care provider dedicated exclusively to treating myopic children, the Treehouse Vision System® treatment plan is non-invasive and includes overnight customized lenses, day-time soft lenses and special prescription eye drops—proven to slow or stop the progression of myopia in children.
About Treehouse Eyes and Highlands Ranch HD Eye Care
Treehouse Eyes is the leading provider of myopia management treatments for children in the U.S. Treehouse Eyes doctors use the latest technology to assess your child’s unique needs and develop a customized treatment plan. Children treated by Treehouse Eyes doctors show on average a 78% decrease in the progression of their myopia. Plus, there are so many benefits to kids seeing clearly. Once they start treatment, children have reported better focus at school, increased performance in activities and more self-confidence. After a year of the pandemic, this is what every parent wants to see for their child! Highlands Ranch HD Eye Care has been providing superior vision care to patients in the Denver metro area for over 25 years, and is your local Treehouse Eyes provider.