6 Quick Tips to Slow Down Near-Sightedness in Your Child
With childhood myopia on the rise over the last four decades, it’s possible that your children could develop near-sightedness despite all your best efforts to protect their vision. While there is currently no cure for myopia, these six quick tips could help you slow down the progression of near-sightedness in your child.
Consider prescription eye drops
In some cases, your eye doctor may prescribe atropine eye drops to relax the part of the eye responsible for focusing. The length of time your child will need to be on these drops will be based largely on how long they continue responding to them. Some children are unable to continue using them successfully for more than a year or two, while other children continue using them until they turn 18 and their eye development stabilizes.
Encourage outdoor play
While it may seem a little too simplistic, studies have shown that near-sighted children who spend a few hours playing outside each day have a slower myopia progression than children not playing outside. Whether it’s the sunlight exposure or the fact that outdoor play often forces children to focus on distant objects, it’s worth shooing your child out of the house to play whenever possible.
Ensure adequate lighting
If your child is already near-sighted, the last thing you want to encourage her to do is hold things closer to the eyes to see. Since you ideally want your child to hold books and crafts at least 30 centimeters (about 12 inches) from the eyes, providing good lighting in your child’s room, as well as where she studies and plays, can help to slow the progression of myopia.
Prepare nutritious meals
Even though you won’t be able to cure your child’s near-sightedness, you can still help to promote good visual health through the meals you serve. Leafy green veggies, citrus fruits, beans, eggs, oily fish and nuts are all eye health-friendly foods that have their place in a balanced diet.
Recommend regular breaks
Whenever your child is participating in up-close activities – like playing on the computer, working on crafts or reading – it’s critical that to give the eyes a break at regular intervals. At minimum, you should encourage your child to look at something in the distance for a few minutes every 20 minutes. After two hours of continued up-close activities, it’s advisable to take a 15-minute break to move around the house and give the eyes a break.
Set an early bedtime
The reparative and restorative processes that go on in the body during sleep form the foundation of good health. Not only will getting to bed early limit the amount of time your child can spend on eye-damaging activities, but it will also give ample time to work for any prescription contact lenses designed to slow the progression of near-sightedness. Be sure to check with your optometrist to determine how many hours your child must sleep in these special contacts each night at a minimum to ensure the best results.